Oyo State Governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, on Monday, flagged off Exercise Still Waters being undertaken in the state by the 2nd Mechanised Division, Ibadan.
The governor, who commended the vision of the Chief of Army Staff who midwifed the Exercise, said that the measure was an improved strategy against terrorism and criminality in the country.
He added that the fight against terrorism, banditry and all sorts of crimes is not only for the Army and other security agencies but also for the populace, noting that everyone needed to work as a team to fight criminality.
Makinde, who was represented by the Chief of Staff, Hon. Segun Ogunwuyi, reiterated that his administration will continue to do everything within its powers to support the Army and all other security agencies in fighting crimes.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that the governor, expressed his happiness at the launch of Exercise Still Waters, stating that the name of the operation suggested that there is already a change in strategy and direction in fighting banditry and insurgency.
He said: “It gladdens my heart to be here and I want to commend the vision, effort and strategy of the new Chief of Army Staff. The Military is perceived not to be civil; that they don’t have a good civil relationship with the populace and perception is very important.
“In most operations we have had in the past, you heard Operation Crocodile Smile, Operation Scorpion. You would hear names and codes that do not connote relationships with the civilians. That’s why I said I have to commend our new COAS because we are now talking about Exercise Still Waters, Operation New Dawn. We are talking code names of operations that civilians can relate with.
“So, on this note, I want to really commend the COAS because that means we have changed strategy and direction in the fight against insurgency, banditry and others.
“This also means the civilians can begin to look at your operations and say, indeed, they want to be part of it because we know that the fight against criminality is not a one-man show.
“It is not only about the military or the Police or other security agencies. It is about all of us coming together as one nation, as one team to fight insecurity.”
The governor equally commended the General Officer Commanding 2 Mechanised Division of Nigerian Army, Odogbo, Ibadan, Major-General Gold Chibuisi, for creating a kind of platform that would bring together all security agencies, adding that with such synergy, there is an assurance of success.
“I also want to commend the General Officer Commanding for having this kind of platform whereby there is synergy amongst all the security agencies.
“This is because we know that one of the problems we have as a nation when we are tackling criminality is that we don’t normally share most of the information and intelligence that we have.
“But with this kind of gathering whereby the NDLEA, Customs, Immigration, Police, NSCDC the Army itself and all other security agencies that are involved one way or the other in the fight against criminality, that means we are jointly going out on this mission. And when we agree, the only thing we can have is success.
“So, on behalf of the people and government of Oyo State, I want to wish us a successful outing in this Exercise Still Waters.
“The government of Oyo State will always do everything within our powers to support the Military, para-military and all the agencies of government within Oyo State that is involved in tackling criminality,” he said.