Operation Crocodile Smile: Militants Threaten To Attack 3,000 Troops Deploy To N’Delta


LAGOS OCTOBER 8TH (NEWSRANGERS)-Niger Delta militants has threatened to attack troops deployed toNiger Delta region if the Army did not withdraw them.
Ther reations came as the Nigerian Army on Saturday deployed troops for the commencement of Operation Crocodile Smile in the six Niger Delta states.

Our reporter learnt that more than 3, 000 soldiers would be involved in the three-week operation slated for October 7 to 28.
The General Officer Commanding 6 Division, Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, Major General Enobong Udoh disclosed this while addressing troops to signal commencement of the exercise.
Udoh, according to News Agency of Nigeria, said, “Operation Crocodile Smile is not a show of force but a confidence-building patrol that seeks to reassure the people of Rivers State and the Niger Delta that the army is ready to work.
“We are ready to work with other security agencies of government to ensure that there is peace and security.
“Our operation aims to reassure the public that we are ready to fight crimes like cultism, militancy, and kidnapping so that people can go about their business without fear.”
He added that troops would carry out patrols with the Nigerian Police Force, Federal Road Safety Corps, Nigeria Immigration Service and the Department of State Services.
Others are the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, the Nigeria Customs Service and the Nigerian Prison Service.
Udoh noted that the six divisions would carry out the exercise in Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers states while another formation would cover other states in the Niger Delta.
Meanwhile, some militants have threatened to attack the soldiers deployed in the oil-rich region.
The militants, who spoke through the Niger Delta Peoples Democratic Front, said the heavy presence of soldiers in the area was unnecessary.
Leader of the group, ‘General Playboy’, said in a statement, “I am writing this statement as I was coming out of a meeting with members of our group and we believe that the government is trying to make the youths angry with the recent deployment of soldiers in the Niger Delta region.
“The level of militancy is very low and there is no longer attacks on oil installations in the region. So, we want to know why troops are deployed in the region. Do they want to kill our people the way they killed some Igbo in the South-East.
“We are asking them (troops) to leave our region immediately otherwise we will attack them. We don’t have any problem here and therefore, we do not need the deployment of soldiers.”
One of our correspondents observed that there was heavy traffic on Ada George Road in Port Harcourt at about 11am on Saturday as troops moved in armoured personnel carriers towards the AGIP junction.
Also, the Pan Niger Delta Forum said it wanted the military authorities to warn the soldiers to abide by their rules of engagement during the operation in order to sustain the fragile peace in the region.
The group’s Coordinating Secretary, Dr. Alfred Mulade, said, “Our reaction remained the same. In spite of our appeal, the Federal Government still went ahead to launch the exercise. It is quite unfortunate.
“What we are doing is in the interest of peace because we believe strongly that the action would be counterproductive. The best approach remains that the community should not be militarised.
“The only advice we give to them is that although we did not expect them to go ahead with the exercise, they should be guided by their operational tenet and rules of engagement.
“They should also respect civil authority so that they don’t harass innocent people in the Niger Delta communities. They should not visit communities to invade and harass people as it was done in the first stage of Operation Crocodile Smile last year.
“In last year’s operation, tales of woes trailed the exercise. We are not sure that they (military) will abide by their operational tenets by not infringing on people’s rights.
“We are sure that they will invade communities and harass people to cause tension in the region. What we want is peace and not deployment of soldiers. They must be cautious during the exercise.”

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Posted by on Oct 8 2017. Filed under State. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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