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Operation Crocodile Smile 2 to smoke out criminals – Buratai



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The Chief of Army Staff, (COAS) Lt Gen Tukur Buratai on Friday, said that the need to check the activities of criminal gangs necessitated the readjustment of area of Operation for this year’s “Operation Crocodile Smile 2.”
He spoke while officially flagging off the operation at the Tactical Headquarters at Takwa Bay Island, Lagos.
Gen Buratai explained that “the increase in crimes in the coastal areas of the country has necessitated the Nigerian Army to step up the training and operations in amphibious environment.
Explaining the rational behind the three weeks Operation Crocodile Smile 2, Gen Buratai reiterated that “it is aimed to sharpen troops combat skills in conduct of land and amphibious operation.
The exercise is been conducted simultaneously in the South West and South South across four Divisions of the Nigerian Army which include 2 Division, 6 Division, 81 Division and 82 Division.
Buratai said, “The exercise which is been conducted with the support of sisters services and relevant security activities is specifically designed to consolidate the gains of Operation Crocodile Smile 1 and other operations conducted this year such as Exercise Harbin Kunama 2 and Operation Python Dance 2.
In his opening remarks, the General Officer Commanding (GOC), Maj Gen Peter Dauke emphasised that the recent rise in criminal activities within its area of operation was worrisome hence efforts must be made to deal with it.
“Although the security on both states (Ogun and Lagos States) have remained relatively peaceful, recent developments give serious cause for concern.
“The recent security situation in both states is characterised by rising incidents of sundry Crimes including armed robbery and kidnapping. Other crimes on the rise within the area are cultism, oil theft, pipeline vandalism and drug related offences.
Reiterating the objective of the exercise, Gen Dauke explained that it would curtail some prevailing security challenges for the benefit the society.
National Daily reports that shortly after the flagging of the exercise, Mobile Strike Force Company mainly amphibious personnel demonstrated their skills with gun boats within the waterways around the creeks.
Besides, the COAS was conducted round some facilities located within TAKWA Bay Island. Such places included three bunkers that were constructed in 1941 and served as arm store during World War 2.
To make it more effective for contemporary use, it was renovated by Army personnel to serve as operational sentry posts with soldiers mounted on sentry duties in the facility.
General Buratai also commissioned the renovated the TAKWA Bay Health Centre where the local populace were tested and treated for sundry ailments including eyes test, malaria with drugs dispensed to them and mosquito nets also distributed free.
Other facilities inaugurated included the Chief of Army Staff Guest House at TAKWA Bay.
Speaking with National Daily at the health centre, a place said to be in deplorable state before the Nigerian Army’s intervention, Mrs Dele Daniel, 68, and Mr Henry Shogbohan, 58, expressed gratitude to the Nigerian Army for the initiative to renovate and equip the centre.
They pointed out that before now, they used to access healthcare need from the General Hospital, Lagos Island but with the centre becoming functional, they would no longer have to travel long distances before getting healthcare need.
Briefing the COAS at the Information Centre, the Commander, 9 Brigade, Brig Gen Elias Attu, said for operational efficiency, the operation has been delineated into eight Sectors with five of the Sectors located in Lagos while three Sectors are in Ogun State.
National Daily recalls that Operation Crocodile Smile 1 was conducted in seven states between 25th August to 10th September, 2016 in Seven states in the Niger Delta and the tremendous success led to the degradation of the activities of militants and illegal oil bunkerings, destruction of kidnapper’s dens and rescue of kidnapped victims, and the destruction of cultists camps.
The flagging off was attended by some Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, former Governor of Benue State, George Akume.
Others were the Air Officer Commanding, (AOC) Logistics Command; the Flag Officer Command, (FOC) Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Sylvanus Abbah; the representatives of paramilitary organisations including Nigerian Customs, Immigration, Police, Civil Defence, Nigerian Emergency Management Authority, Road Safety and traditional rulers.

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