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By Ahmed Abu, The Nigerian Voice, Maiduguri
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Governo!r Kashim Shettima of Borno state has expressed confidence and optimism that Borno State will regain its glory again.

Colonel Ado Isa , the Deputy Director Public Relations, 7 Division Nigerian Army, NA said that the Governor stated this yesterday at Cashew Plantation, Maiduguri Borno State while flagging-off the commencement of Exercise EGWU EKE III (PYTHON DANCE) at 7 DIVISION STEP -UP Tactical Headquarters CASHEW PLANTATION, Maiduguri

Shettima' who was represented at the occasion by the Speaker Borno State House of Assembly, Right Honourable Abdulkarim Lawan, applauds the untiring effort of the Nigerian Army in combating the menace of the Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs) and insurgency, most especially in the North Eastern part of the country.

He said: "We are proud of the Nigerian Army, and we are sure that Borno will regain its glory and the people will smile again".

He further gave his reassurance to continue collaborating with the Army and other security agencies in the State and emphasized that, the people of Borno are very optimistic that the launch of the Exercise will bring lasting peace and tranquility to the State.

Shettima' therefore urged the NA to continue with the good work by maintaining the synergy with other security agencies and remain apolitical as the election draws nearer.

Similarly, the Theatre Commander (TC) Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Benson Akinroluyo commended the effort and commitment of the leadership, officers and men of 7 Division, while appreciating the State Government for their support he gave his assurance to monitor every step of the Exercise to ensure the aim is achieved in due course.

Earlier in his remarks, the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 7 Division Nigerian Army and Commander Sector 1 Operation Lafiya Dole, Brigadier General Abdulmalik Bulama Biu stated that the Exercise is an Internal Security Operation aimed at checkmating the activities of criminals as well as to ensure the smooth conduct of the forthcoming general elections. He added that the Python will no doubt swallow all criminals and insurgents, while the people of Borno will peacefully exercise their franchise unhindered.

While appreciating the State Government for its support and cooperation, General Bulama reiterated that the Flag-Off of the Exercise is to consolidate on the successes recorded so far in Python Dance 1and 2 which was launched last year in the Eastern part of the country.

He therefore use the opportunity to warn all criminal elements and would be election thugs to stay clear else they face the raging wrath of the Python coupled with the fierce fighting spirit of the dogged and gallant troops of 7 Division Nigerian Army.

The highlight of the event was the handing over of the Exercise Flag by the GOC, the Official Flag Off by the representative of His Excellency, Governor Kashim Shettima and the commencement of confidence building patrols and show of force.

Present at the occasion were Formation and Unit Commanders, Principal Staff Officers within HQ Theatre Command and 7 Division, Commanding Officers, heads of various security agencies, officers and men from other security agencies, troops of 7 Division Rapid Deployment Force (RDF) as well as members of the press.