Military warns agitators, says Nigeria’s territorial integrity inviolable
Army begins ‘Crocodile Smile’ exercise
The military has warned agitators in the South South region that Nigeria’s territorial integrity is inviolable. It also reiterated its commitment to ensuring the safety of the people of the region and its territories.
Commander of the Operation Delta Safe (OPDS), Rear Admiral Joseph Okojie, in response to claims by the Adaka Boro Avengers (ADA) militant group that it would declare a Niger Delta republic by August 1, vowed that the OPDS would not abdicate its responsibility to protect lives, property and the territorial integrity of the country.
In a related development, the Nigerian Army has commenced the training exercise: “Crocodile Smile” to fight militancy, kidnappings and piracy that have continued to threaten lives and property in the region.
Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman disclosed in a statement issued yesterday to newsmen in Maiduguri: “This training exercise code named: EXERCISE CROCODILE SMILE is to commence this weekend in 82 Division and part of 2 Division areas of the responsibility traversing the South-South geo-political region.”
Usman urged members of the general public not to panic on the sight of unusual movement of large number of troops, heavy military weapons and equipment in these areas.
Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai said that the Nigerian Army would continue to provide the necessary policy direction, human and capital resources to ensure that Combat Support Arms Training (COSAT) performs optimally to fight terrorism and criminal activities.
Buratai disclosed in Maiduguri during the closing ceremony of COSAT 2016 training week at the Maimalari Cantonment Youth Training Centre.
He said this was in line with the Nigerian Army’s vision to have a professionally responsive face to its constitutional role of fighting terrorism, kidnapping and cattle rustling.
“The current counter terrorism and counter insurgency operations being undertaken by the military in the country, particularly in the North-East sub-region have brought up several challenges,” said Buratai.
Okojie, however, cautioned newsmen against publishing information from faceless group because they may not be real and could create needless tension.
He said the Nigeria Army will not engage anybody or group of person in propaganda, but the briefing was necessary to let Niger Delta people know that the army is on top of the situation.
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