The Coalition of Human Rights Monitoring Groups (CHRMG) has assured Nigerians of maximum safety throughout the Nigerian Army’s operation ‘Crocodile Smile’ which it says is targeted at criminals.
CHRMG’s coordinator, Abubakar Gana, gave this assurance on Monday at a press conference in Abuja ahead of the start of the exercise.
Gana said the annual operation has no connection with the ongoing #EndSARS protests in the country, contrary to the misconception by “some distractors and tattlers of fake news”.
In his words, the ‘Crocodile Smile’ is “targeted at the identification of fleeing Boko Haram terrorists from the hot theatre of war in Northeast, but are sneaking into other parts of Nigeria to cause atrocities”.
He added that the ” exercise has also progressed into the first-ever cyber warfare exercises packaged to identify, track, and counter negative propaganda in social media and in the cyberspace, which is a potent weapon of terrorists in warfare”.
According to the human rights group, the exercise is an “expression of the Army’s unflagging commitment to the peace and security of Nigeria, which it has always upheld responsively and responsibly, in patriotic flavour in the last five years”.
Gana assured that troops will continue to respect their fundamental human rights and act professionally as they have always done under Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. TY Buratai.
He added that “Nigerians can attest that the Nigerian Army’s leadership under Gen. Buratai has zero-tolerance for unprofessional conduct, acts of indiscipline and human rights violations by Army personnel”.
CHRMG, however, pleaded with Nigerians to discountenance and discard the misinformation and fake news, especially on social media platforms on Exercise Crocodile Smile VI.