Wike Pledges Support For Operation Crocodile Smile As Buratai Says Operation Will Tackle Security Challenges
SAN FRANCISCO, September 05, (THEWILL) – The Rivers State governor, Chief Nyesom Wike on Monday pledged his support for the 'Operation Crocodile Smile' of the Nigerian Army, vowing that he will do everything possible to ensure the return of peace and security in the Niger Delta.
Wike stated this at the Government House in Port Harcourt, the state capital, when the Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai led other senior military officers to pay him a courtesy call.
According to him, “The Rivers State Government is fully in support of the Operation Crocodile Smile. I was fully briefed by the Brigade Commander and we associate ourselves with the programme because it will make the Niger Delta safer.
“One of the advantages of the programme is that hoodlums in the creeks are being uprooted for a safer Niger Delta. I support the programme in so far as it is done with the constitution.”
The governor, who stated that the state government will sustain its support for security agencies to create the right atmosphere for democratic governance, adding that his administration has procured six new Armoured Personnel Carriers, APC, for the Nigeria Police and in the process of concluding the acquisition of 10 gunboats for the Nigerian Navy.
Speaking earlier, Buratai expressed optimism that the 'Operation Crocodile Smile' of the Army will address the security challenges confronting the Niger Delta region and as well as bring about peace in the region.
Explaining that the operation was introduced to train army personnel on the techniques of operating in the Niger Delta, he stated that, “The Operation Crocodile Smile is an exercise to train our troops on amphibious operations.”
The Army Chief continued that the operation seeks to provide the civil authorities with the right environment to carry out governance, adding that the exercise will ensure that the troops are professional with the required training to conduct operations within the law.
“Our waters are generally porous. The Nigerian Army has amphibious capabilities in conjunction with the Nigerian Navy to carry out limited operations within the creeks,” he stated.
Buratai used the visit to disclose that another aspect of the Operation Crocodile Smile will witness the Army intervening in critical areas of need for the communities, pointing out that the Army has already embarked on medical outreach in Bille in Rivers State and Nembe in Bayelsa State.