The Nigerian Army has announced that it has deployed its troops for the commencement of Operation Crocodile Smile in the six Niger Delta states.
Speaking on Saturday, while addressing troops to signal the commencement of the exercise, Enobong Udoh, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) in Port Harcourt, said the operation was confidence-building patrol rather than a show of force as it is being reported.
He said: “Operation Crocodile Smile is a confidence-building patrol that seeks to reassure the people of Rivers state and the Niger Delta that the army is ready to work.”
“We are ready to work in close synergy and collaboration with other security services and agencies of government to ensure that there is peace and security for the people.
“Our operation aims to reassure the public that we are ready to fight crimes like cultism, militancy, and kidnapping so that people can go about their business without fear.”
The GOC also said troops would carry out collaborative patrols with the Nigeria Police, Federal Road Safety Corps, Nigerian Immigration Service and the Department of State Security.
Others are Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps, Nigerian Customs Service and personnel of the Nigerian Prison Service.
He said the 6 division would carry out the exercise in Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers states while another formation would cover other states in the Niger Delta.
“Army, police and other security services were established to ensure peace; enforce law and order and create the enabling environment for economic activities to thrive,” he said
“This is our ultimate mandate, and, as such, we urge Nigerians to give us the necessary support to enable us to succeed.”
The three weeks exercise is expected to commence from yesterday, October 7 to October 28.