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Coincidence? Nigerian Army set to begin Exercise Crocodile Smile amid growing #EndSARS protests

The Nigerian Army said on Saturday it would commence its annual Exercise Crocodile Smile next week.

The Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Col. Sagir Musa, who disclosed this in a statement on in Abuja, said the exercise would take place across the country from October 20 to December 31.

The Exercise Crocodile usually takes place in the last quarter of the year.

The army spokesman said this year’s exercise would include programme in cyber-warfare which had been designed to identify, track and counter negative propaganda in the social media and across the cyberspace.

He said the troops would undertake an exercise in positive identification.

This exercise, according to Musa, was aimed at identifying Boko Haram terrorists fleeing from the North East to other parts of the country.

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The statement read: “The Nigerian Army, once again, reassures all well-meaning Nigerians of its commitment to the sustenance of peace and security in Nigeria.

“It solicits the support and understanding of members of the public throughout the period of the exercise.”

The commencement of the exercise coincides with the ongoing protests against police brutality in the country.

The #ENDSARS protests entered its second week on Monday and it remains to be seen if the army will resist the temptation of going after protesters who have resisted overtures by the Federal Government to end the mass action.

Recall that the army had on Tuesday vowed to deal decisively with every undemocratic elements as the #ENDSARS protests continued across the country. The army, however, did not mention #EndSARS in its publication.

It had also pledged to fully support the nation’s civil authority in whatever capacity to maintain law and order, and directed officers to not be distracted by “anti-democratic forces and agents of disunity.”

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