The Nigerian Army says it will begin an operation codenamed ‘Crocodile Smile’ in the South-south region of the country in order to curb the increase in militancy and crime in the area.
Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai made this known during the closing ceremony of the Nigerian Army 2016 Combat Support Arms Training week which was held at the headquarters of the 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Maimalari Barracks in Maiduguri.
Buratai said the operation is expected to commence this week and will involve the deployment of military special troop and other hardware to the region to restore peace and normalcy.
“After the success of the Nigerian Army Day Celebration, Funtua Exercise, Exercise- Harbin Kunama in Zamfara state, another major exercise, ‘Crocodile Smile’ will commence this weekend in south-south states of the country,
“The aim of the exercise is to train our special force troops in amphibious and internal security operation in riverine environment,
“It will also check criminal activities like kidnappings, militancy, piracy and forms of criminal activities in support of the civil authority,” the army chief said.
Buratai said the Combat Support Arms Training is an annual event designed to keep troops updated on the ethical and professional conduct of combat support to meet up with current and future challenges.
He noted that the current training activities have been going on in all formations and units of the Nigerian Army.
“It is a reality that the nature of threats we are countering now and in the near future is asymmetric, hence the need to be proactive by all security agencies especially the military”.
“I’m glad to note that several efforts were made to tackle the challenges of counter-insurgency operations. The current counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations being undertaken by the military in the country especially in north-east have yielded positive results,” Buratai said.
He added that security agencies should not rest in their oars, rather they should continue to synergise in order to make gains on the progress recorded so far in the counter insurgency operations across the country.
The COAS urged troops to be loyal and committed to the maintenance of security in the country, adding that the army headquarters will continue to provide the necessary direction and resources to its troops to ensure that the combat arms perform optimally.