Insecurity: Stay Off North-East Conflict Areas, Army Tells Int’l Organisations
Chief of the Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai,

The Nigerian Army has cleared the air on the target of its “Operation Crocodile Smile” which is taking off on Tuesday, October 20.

The announcement of the planned exercise had generated misgivings in many Nigerians and especially #EndSARS protesters and their supporters who felt the exercise was targeted at the protesting youth.

The Next Edition reports that the youth have been on the streets of major cities and towns in about 30 states of the federation and Abuja, demanding essentially, good governance for about two weeks now.

READ ALSO: Catholic Church Celebrates Mass For Adherents At Lekki #EndSARS Protest

In a on Sunday, however, the army declared that the Operation Crocodile Smile” had nothing to do with #EndSARS protest.

The Army spokesman, Musa Sagir, who issued the statement, said it was wrong to say the exercise is targeted at protesters, pointing out that the army had not in any way been involved in the protest since it began nearly two weeks ago.

The statement partly read: “The attention of the Nigerian Army (NA) has been drawn to some social media stuff wrongfully condemning the Army and its Leadership over the announcement of Exercise CROCODILE SMILE VI particularly the Cyber Warfare Component of the Exercise.

“This year’s Exercise CROCODILE SMILE scheduled to commence from the 20th of October to the 31st of December 2020 has no relationship with any lawful protest under any guise whatsoever.

“For the records, Exercise CROCODILE SMILE is a yearly exercise in the NA Calendar/Forecast of Events which traditionally holds from October to December of each year.

“Thus, to now insinuate that it is an exercise meant to stifle the ongoing ENDSARS protest is to say the least highly misinformed. Exercise CROCODILE SMILE VI has nothing to do with the ongoing protest and the NA has never been involved in the ongoing protest in any form whatsoever. So far, the army has acted professionally since the civil protest started over two weeks ago.

“The army hereby enjoins all law abiding Nigerians to go about their lawful activities unhindered as the Exercise has nothing to do with ENDSARS protest, but a yearly event set out to train NA officers and soldiers in its efforts to ensuring safety and security of Nigeria and her citizens.”