The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), lieutenant General Tukur Buratai has revealed that the increase in crime rate especially in the coastal areas of the country is amongst the many factors that propelled the ‘exercise crocodile smile II.
The COAS who stated this at the official flag off ceremony for the ‘Exercise Crocodile Smile II ‘ in Tarkwa Bay Island Lagos revealed that although the operation crocodile smile I which held from August 25th – September 10th 2016 in Abia, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Imo and Rivers States was a huge success as it greatly reduced criminal activities in the region, some of the criminal elements had also relocated and found a safe haven in other parts of the country, hence the readjustment of area of operation for this year’s operation.
He also stated that this year’s operation will be conducted across the south west and south south
Regions of the country.
In his address, Buratai said, ” the increase in crimes in the coastal areas in the country has necessitated the Nigerian Army to step up the training and operations in amphibious environment. This imperative has been aptly captured in the Nigerian Army ORBAT 2016. Already, 6 Division, Nigerian Army was operationalized in June 2017, while efforts are on to establish and operationalize units and formations approved in the ORBAT. The ORBAT provided for an amphibious Battalion in Tarkwa Bay to assist keep the coastal area of Lagos state safe.
“A detachment of NA have since been stationed on the Island, more presence of the NA will be felt soon on the Island and other parts of the country in line with the 2016 ORBAT as fund becomes available.
” ‘Exercise Crocodile Smile II’ have been established in the field to facilitate timely decision making, prompt response to security threats, enhance synergy and facilitate communication between members of the public and exercising troops.
“Emphasis will be placed on rules of engagement and code of conduct. I urge members of the public to remain vigilant, security conscious, report suspected criminals and miscreants who would be looking for areas of safe concern.”
The General Officer Commanding 81 Division, Major General Peter Duake in his opening remark spoke on the importance of embarking on the exercise.
He said, ” The 81 Division Area of responsibility in internal security operations covers Lagos and Ogun states has remained relatively peaceful, however, recent developments given serious cause for concern. The recent security situation in both states is characterised by rising incidents of sundry crimes including ritual killings, armed robbery and kidnapping. Other crimes on the rise within the area are cultism, oil theft, pipeline vandalism and drug related offences amongst others.”
According to Duake, it is as a result of these challenges that the divisional training policy in accordance with the vision of the Chief of Army Staff has been tailored to enhance the capacity and competence of troops towards mitigating these challenges.
The Division also renovated the only Primary Health Care Centre in the Island and offered free medical assistance amongst other goodies to members of the community who expressed great joy.
One of the beneficiaries of the free medical outreach, Adunni Sani, the presence of the Army has not only changed the security situation in the community but also given them a reason to live healthier.
The event also had representative from the National Assembly, the Nigerian Navy, the Nigeria Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, National Emergency Management Agency, The Nigerian Prison, Department of State Security Service, Traditional Rulers amongst other agencies in attendance.