Daily Metro News NG
The Nigerian Army has said its planned ‘Operation Crocodile Smile VI’ which is billed kick off across the country this week is not targeted at the #EndSARS protests being witnessed across the country at the moment.
In a statement issued by the Army Acting Spokesperson, Musa Sagir on Saturday noted that the exercise, scheduled to commence from October 20, to December 31, 2020, has no relationship with any lawful protest under any guise whatsoever.
The statement reads; “For the records, Exercise Crocodile Smile is a yearly exercise in the Nigerian Army calendar/forecast of events which traditionally holds from October to December of each year.
“To now insinuate that it is an exercise meant to stifle the ongoing EndSARS protest is to say the least highly misinformed. Exercise Crocodile Smile (VI) has nothing to do with the ongoing protest and the NA has never been involved in the ongoing protest in any form whatsoever”.
Colonel Musa stressed that the exercise was deliberately intended to be all-encompassing to include cyber warfare operations.
The cyber-warfare operation, he stated, was designed to identify, track, and counter negative propaganda on social media and across cyberspace.
The statement said; “This is the first-ever cyber warfare exercise to be conducted in the history of the African Armed Forces.
“Accordingly, the exercise will also include positive identification component aimed at identifying Boko Haram terrorists fleeing from the North East and other parts of the country as a result of the ongoing operations in the various theatres of operations, especially in the North East, North Central, and North Western parts of Nigeria”.
Colonel Musa reassured all well-meaning Nigerians of the commitment of the Force to the sustenance of peace and security in the country.
He also urged members of the public to show support and understanding throughout the period of the exercise.
This is coming at a time of nationwide protests both on social media and in the streets, demanding an end to police brutality.
The peaceful protests which have, however, been met with pockets of violence and even killings, have continued to gain momentum despite efforts by the government to bring it to a halt.
Meanwhile, many Nigerians have, criticised the exercise over fears that it is another tactic by government to clamp down on the protesters.