Nigerian Army has announced date for commencement of Operation Crocodile Smile II in the Niger Delta, despite opposition by the Pan Niger Delta Forum, and the Ijaw Youth Council.
This is contained in a statement on Monday by Colonel Aminu Iliyasu, Deputy Director Army Public Relations.
It said troops of 6 Division Nigerian Army Port Harcourt including its affiliated Formations and Units located within its entire Area of Responsibility (AOR) which covers the core Niger Delta States of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers States will participate in the exercise from 7 – 28 October 2017.
The statement said the operation is intended to put troops through admin, operational, logistics as well as Civil-Military Cooperation aspects.
It noted that the exercise will also witness provision of free medical care to host communities, Quick Impact Projects (QIP), conduct of sanitation exercises for the benefit of their host communities and distribution of educational materials to schools as part of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
“It will also avail troops the opportunity to sharpen their combat skills in the conduct of land based as well as joint riverine operations”, it added.
“The exercise will also aim at imparting to the troops the importance of equipment maintenance, reconnaissance, inter-service and inter-agency cooperation, effective application of the Nigerian Army Code of Conduct as well as strict adherence to Rules of Engagement (ROE), proffer handling of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), captured or surrendered hostile elements in line with international best practices.
“In light of the foregoing, the authorities of 6 Division Nigerian Army wishes to inform the general public as well as solicit their usual understanding and cooperation during the period of the exercise and beyond.
“Dates and locations of the various CSR, sanitation and free medical interventions will be announced in due course. The command also wishes to allay the fears of the general public as they will witness increased movements of troops and equipment during the period.”