Regardless of the many criticisms by the Yoruba socio-cultural group, the Afenifere, to the deployment of troops in addressing civil matters, the Nigerian Army’s Operations Crocodile Smile II, has landed in Lagos and Ogun states areas covered by troops of 81 Division.
Spokesman of the division, Lieutenant Colonel Olaolu Daudu, who made this known in a statement on Monday, explained that the exercise commenced in Ogun and Lagos on October 7, 2017 and will end on October 28, 2017.
Lieutenant Colonel Daudu said that the exercise will avail troops the opportunity to sharpen combat skills in the conduct of land base as well as joint riverine operation, adding that it could progress to an operation when they start going after criminal elements involved in kidnappings, cultism, armed robbery, pipeline vandalism, and insurgency, among others in the states.
According to Daudu, the exercise is not targeted at any individual or group. Hence, law abiding citizens should not be afraid when they witness increased movements of troops and equipment.
He said, “Law-abiding citizens are advised to go about their normal businesses without fear. Dates and locations of the various humanitarian activities, such as sanitation exercises and free medical interventions will be announced in due course.
“The division also wishes to allay the fears of the public, as they will witness increased movements of troops and equipment during the period.
“They are please requested to cooperate and support us, to ensure the success of the exercise, which is aimed at making the Nigerian army responsive to its constitutional roles.”
This came despite warnings by Afenifere that President Muhammadu Buhari should not repeat the mistake that led to 1966 court when the government at the period was busy deploying troops to address civil uprisings.
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