In a strategic move to safeguard the lives and properties of Nigerian citizens as the year comes to an end, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja flagged off three vital training exercises on October 10, 2023. These exercises, named EXERCISE STILL WATERS 3, GOLDEN DAWN 3, ENDURING PEACE 3, and EXERCISE CLEAN SWEEP, are aimed at addressing the mounting security challenges in various geopolitical zones of Nigeria.
The simultaneous commencement of these exercises signifies the military’s commitment to countering the security threats that have arisen in the South South, South East, South West, and North Central regions. General Lagbaja stressed the importance of tackling these emerging challenges to prevent any escalation during the final quarter of the year, which typically sees increased travel by Nigerians across the country.
Addressing the troops, General Lagbaja emphasized the need to perform their duties diligently while adhering to the rule of law and established codes of conduct. He urged, “We should not be a problem to the citizens we are trying to protect.”
Additionally, the COAS inaugurated “EXERCISE CLEAN SWEEP” at Ikeja Cantonment in Lagos. This exercise aims to clear unexploded explosive ordnances remaining from a tragic 2002 bomb blast at the Nigerian Army Cantonment in Maryland, Ikeja, Lagos. General Lagbaja stated that the operation intends to disinfect the epicenter of the blast and remove all remaining unexploded explosive ordnances, ensuring the safety of the cantonment and its surroundings.
The COAS assured the public that the exercise, which will last for 61 days, will be conducted safely, and citizens in Lagos and Ogun states should not be alarmed by the movement of military vehicles or controlled explosions during the operation. Emergency and response agencies, such as the Nigeria Police, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Federal Road Safety Corps, State Emergency Management Agency, and medical personnel, will collaborate to guarantee a successful exercise.
General Lagbaja expressed gratitude to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his unwavering support of the Nigerian Army in fulfilling its constitutional obligations. He pledged that the unfortunate incident in Nigerian Army Cantonments would not recur.
Notable figures present at the event included the Executive Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwoolu, Oba Adeyemi Ajasa of Onigbongbo Kingdom, Corps Commanders, Principal Staff Officers of the Army Headquarters, and other dignitaries. General Lagbaja concluded his day with a visit to the Oba of Lagos, His Royal Majesty Oba Rilwan Akiolu I, and a stop at Headquarters 192 Battalion in Owode, Ogun State.