Please! Ensure Crocodile Does Not Bite Our Youths As It Doesn’t Smile

According to an essay posted on the website of the Association for Psychological Scientist (APS), “A smile begins in our sensory corridors. The ear collects a whispered word. The eyes spot an old friend on the station platform. The hand feels the pressure of another hand. This emotional data funnels to the brain, exciting the left anterior temporal region in particular, then smolders to the surface of the face, where two muscles, standing at attention, are roused into action: The zygomatic major, which resides in the cheek, tugs the lips upward, and the orbicularis oculi, which encircles the eye socket, squeezes the outside corners into the shape of a crow’s foot. The entire event is short, typically lasting from two-thirds of a second to four seconds, and those who witness it often respond by mirroring the action, and smiling back.”

At this juncture, it would not be wrong to ask, “Do Crocodiles smiles?” The answer to the foregoing cannot be farfetched as Crocodile, in the true sense of the words do not smile. Against the foregoing backdrop, it is expedient to say that Crocodiles do not smile, and it is not incorrect to say that it does not smile. Let us in this context assume that it smiles, but the fact will still remain that it will not smile back because it does not, from any physiological sense, shares the same body chemistry with man.

However, the adoption of the code: “Crocodile Smile” in 2016 by the leadership of the Nigerian Army suggests that it smiles. To those in the field of marketing communication, the name is apt and has a brand worth as it evokes both fear and compassion. It would be recalled in this context that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, who spoke about the operation in 2016, said it became necessary following the unrest in the oil-rich region which was then characterized by bombing of oil pipelines by militants, kidnappings, cult-related killings and other sundry crimes.

Analyzed from the foregoing viewpoint, Crocodile does not share the same body chemistry with man. Little wonder, Frank Churchill, decades back released a comic song or rather comic music titled, "Never Smile at a Crocodile". The music, without the lyrics, was first heard in the Walt Disney Animation Studios film. Following the film's release in 1953, the song version with Lawrence's lyrics went on to become a children's song classic.

Be that as it may, it is worrisome to note in this context that the Federal Government may have finally succumbed to the pressure of crushing the ongoing #EndSARS protests through the use of military might. As been deciphered by the people, since the news was publicly disclosed by the leadership of the Nigerian Army, the military exercise called “Exercise Crocodile Smile 6”, is been prepared to commence on Tuesday, October 20, 2020, in the guise of the continuation of the military exercise that commenced in 2016.

As explained by the military authority, Exercise Crocodile Smile 6, is a cyber-warfare operation, which it said was “designed to identify, track and counter negative propaganda on the social media and across the cyberspace.”

At this juncture, it is expedient to say that I was inspired to express my view on this issue by appealing to the federal government and its military agent, the Nigerian Army, not to undemocratically and brutally unleash the Crocodile against the people since there is pervading fear that it may not smile in the true sense of the word but bite.

One of the reasons why I am making this appeal is that scientists at the University of Missouri in 2016 found that crocodiles have a second jaw joint, an addition that enhances the force of their bite. Using a combination of computational imaging and 3D modelling tools, the researchers were able to model the structure of bone, tissue and cartilage inside the crocodile’s head, allowing them to identify the hidden joint. They noted that crocodiles and alligators have the most powerful bite of any animal in the world, and the secret to the strength was revealed in their findings. If I may ask, “Is this how the leaders the youths voted for at the polls want to reward them?

The youths do not deserve to be attacked under whatever guise as the vision of our country lies in their hands. They are filled with tremendous and towering ambitions as they have been demonstrating since the last few days fighting on behalf of the people for SARS to come to an end. In a similar vein, it will be undemocratic if the youths are not allowed to exercise their fundamental human rights by freely expressing themselves and associate among themselves. Without any iota of exaggeration, the entire success of the nation depends on the youths. However, in order for continuous success to take place it is germane the government through the army does not exterminate the youth population through crocodile bites.

Youth is the spring of life. It is the age of discovery and dreams. They have the power to transform the nation into a better place. They also have the ability to lead their fellow citizens into the right direction. Youths are fighters. They fight for an identity in society, equality, the homeless, bullying, unemployment, exploitation, poverty and other problems which the country faces today.

Without any scintilla of hyperbole, Nigerian youths that are today fighting on behalf of the people, and who the authorities are somewhat mischievously planning clamping down on are aspiring doctors, entrepreneurs, scientists, and who knows; maybe the next president is among them as a protester.

Understanding the roles which the youth play in any given society is very key for leaders in power. As it is at the moment, it appears the leadership of the incumbent government is bereft of idea of who the youths are. The leadership is unarguably bereft of the fact that the youths are strong forces in social movements.

The youths are problem solvers. It is against this backdrop that the elderlies and senior citizens are queueing up behind them in their agitations against the anomalies that are inherent in the government of the day with specific reference to policing. There is no denying the fact that Nigerians need them to resolve most of their problems; being it domestic or civic in nature. The nation is facing a lot of problems, and I believe that the youths are capable of solving them. They just need to be given a chance to prove themselves. Youths have the power to unite individuals in the multiethnic landscape of the country.

To this end, I am through this medium appealing that the federal government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari should not be harsh on the youths as they are the life of the nation. They will no doubt make our country proud. With what this writer has seen in the youths since the EndSARS protests commenced, there is no denying the fact that the country will be far better and recognized under their leadership more than as it is today. The youths just need the support from their fellow citizens and the government and they will perform their duties.

Finally, I am in this context appealing that even if the Nigerian Army will be unleashing crocodile on the people, they should ensure that it smiles, and should not in any way bite.

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Articles by Isaac Asabor