The Nigerian Army on Monday said Operation Crocodile Smile II, which is the military exercise for the Niger Delta region, will commence on Saturday.
The army said Operation Crocodile Smile II, which will be carried out by troops of the 6 Division, Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, will cover mainly the four states of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers.
The army operation in the South-East states – Operation Python Dance II – which started on September 15 and will last till October 14, generated a lot of controversies with the alleged invasion of the residence of the Indigenous People of Biafra’s leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
The Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, and 6 Division’s spokesman, Col. Aminu Iliyasu, said on Monday that the military operation in the Niger Delta states would be done with the “effective application of the Nigerian Army Code of Conduct as well as strict adherence to the Rules of Engagement.”
Iliyasu said, “Troops of 6 Division, Port Harcourt, and its units covering the Niger Delta states of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers will conduct Exercise Crocodile Smile II from October 7 to 28. The exercise is intended to train troops in operational, logistics as well as civil-military cooperation aspects.
“It will also avail troops the opportunity to sharpen their combat skills in the conduct of land-based as well as joint riverine operations. The exercise will also aim at imparting to the troops the importance of equipment maintenance and reconnaissance. There will be an effective application of the Nigerian Army Code of Conduct as well as strict adherence to Rules of Engagement.”
The army spokesman said residents of the affected states must show “understanding and cooperation during the period of the exercise” and must not panic owing to the “increased movements of troops and equipment.”