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Operation Crocodile Smile III will tackle kidnapping, armed robbery – Buratai

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Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, says Operation Crocodile Smile III exercise of the Army will tackle kidnapping, armed robbery, militancy and other crimes in Cross River.

He stated this on Tuesday at the commencement of the “Operation’’ in Bakassi Local Government Area of the state.

Buratai, who was represented by Maj.-Gen. Emmanuel Kabuk, General Officer Commanding (GOC), 82 Division, Enugu, said that the operation was a training to help soldiers of 13 Brigade to showcase their military proficiency.

According to him, the exercise was designed to include riverside and land operation with a view to monitoring the creeks by tackling kidnapping of personalities, militancy and curbing the menace of armed robbery.

“This exercise has been designed to enable officers and soldiers of 13 Brigade to show their proficiency in internal security.

“The land operation will be conducted to check armed robbery, communal clashes, stop and search of vehicles among others.

“The riverside operation will equally help us to check the activities of militancy and kidnapping of personalities across the creeks.

“In addition to the exercise, we will also carry out medical outreach in host communities and schools.

“As we do this, it will also help us to maintain peace and order and create a conducive environment as we approach the 2019 general elections,’’ he said.

The army boss urged soldiers to deal with criminals based on the rules of engagement.

Earlier, the Commander, 13 Brigade, Calabar, Brig.-Gen. Charles Okulide, had said that 800 security personnel drawn from the Army, Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and Immigration would participate in the one month exercise.

Operation Crocodile Smile III will tackle kidnapping, armed robbery – Buratai

Okulide said that the initiative was to foster inter-agency relationship among security agencies in the state, thereby expressing confidence that the exercise would be hitch-free.

He disclosed that the formation had made giant efforts in curbing heinous crime in the state through sustained collaboration of other security agencies.

On his part, the state governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, said that the Army had remained disciplined and very professional in the discharge of its constitutional duties.

Ayade said that the exercise would ensure the state recorded crises-free polls in 2019 and during the annual Calabar Carnival.

According to him, the exercise will also reduce the proliferation of arms through the Cameroon border at Ikang, Bakassi.

The governor called on all security agencies to work in harmony with a view to bringing the security challenges across the country under control.

“As the 2019 general elections draw closer, I want to use this opportunity to warn politicians to desist from moving arms and sponsoring violence at polling units.

“As the Chief Security Officer of the state, I will work with security agencies to ensure that anyone caught is prosecuted,’’ he said.

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