…As Wike declares support for operation
The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai said that the ‘Operation Crocodile Smile’ will address the security challenges facing the Niger Delta region and as well as peace enhanced in the region.
This is as Rivers State Governor, Chief Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike declared his support for the Operation Crocodile Smile by the Nigerian Army.
Buratai, who spoke on Monday when he led other senior military officers to pay a courtesy call on Wike at Government House, Port Harcourt, explained that the Operation Crocodile Smile was introduced to train army personnel on the techniques of operating in the Niger Delta.
The Chief of Army Staff said, “The Operation Crocodile Smile is an exercise to train our troops on amphibious operations.”
He stated that the exercise seeks to provide the civil authorities with the right environment to carry out governance.
Buratai further stated that the exercise will ensure that the troops are professional with the required training to conduct operations within the law.
The Army chief said, “Our waters are generally porous. The Nigerian Army has amphibious capabilities in conjunction with the Nigerian Navy to carry out limited operations within the creeks.”
He noted that another aspect of the Operation Crocodile Smile will witness the Army intervening in critical areas of need for the communities, pointing out that already, the Army has embarked on medical outreach in Bille in Rivers State and Nembe in Bayelsa State.
Responding, Governor Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike, stated that he will do everything to ensure peace and security in the Niger Delta.
Wike said, “The Rivers State Government is fully in support of the Operation Crocodile Smile. I was fully briefed by the Brigade Commander and we associate ourselves with the programme because it will make the Niger Delta safer.
“One of the advantages of the programme is that hoodlums in the creeks are being uprooted for a safer Niger Delta. I support the programme insofar as it is done with the constitution.”
The governor, who said the state government will sustain its support for security agencies to create the right atmosphere for democratic governance, adding that his administration has procured six new Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) for the Nigeria Police and in the process of concluding the acquisition of 10 gunboats for the Nigerian Navy.