The Nigerian Army said on Sunday the “Operation Crocodile Smile” was not targeted at #ENDSARS protesters.
The Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Col. Sagir Musa, who disclosed this in a statement in Abuja, urged Nigerians to ignore the insinuation that the exercise was meant to stifle the ongoing #ENDSARS protest.
Several prominent Nigerians had warned the Federal Government against sending soldiers after the protesters who had rebuffed the government’s overtures to end their public rallies against the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
The military operation begins on Tuesday.
The statement read: “The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to some social media stuff wrongfully condemning the army and its leadership over the announcement of Exercise CROCODILE SMILE VI particularly the Cyber Warfare Component of the Exercise.
“This year’s Exercise CROCODILE SMILE that is scheduled to commence from the 20th of October to the 31st of December 2020 has no relationship with any lawful protest under any guise whatsoever.
“For the records, Exercise CROCODILE SMILE is a yearly exercise in the NA Calendar/Forecast of Events which traditionally holds from October to December of each year.
“Thus, to now insinuate that it is an exercise meant to stifle the ongoing #ENDSARS protest is to say the least highly misinformed. Exercise CROCODILE SMILE VI has nothing to do with the ongoing protest and the Nigeria Army has never been involved in the ongoing protest in any form whatsoever. So far, the army has acted professionally since the civil protest started over two weeks ago.
“The army hereby enjoins all law-abiding Nigerians to go about their lawful activities unhindered as the Exercise has nothing to do with #ENDSARS protest, but a yearly event set out to train Nigeria Army officers and soldiers in its efforts at ensuring the safety and security of Nigeria and her citizens.”
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