EXERCISE CROCODILE SMILE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH #ENDSARS PROTEST- NIGERIAN ARMY
The Nigerian Army has clarified that 'Exercise Crocodile Smile' is not targeted at #EndSARS protesters.
Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Sagir Musa, disclosed this in a statement released on Sunday, October 18.
The Nigerian Army had on Saturday announced that its Operation Crocodile Smile would commence nationwide from October 20 to December 31, 2020.
The NA noted that exercise is deliberately intended to track and counter negative propaganda in the social media and across the cyberspace.
This year’s nationwide military exercise is coming at a time Nigerian youths are staging #EndSARS protests around the country to protest police brutality and extrajudicial killings.
The announcement by the Nigerian Army has caused panic amongst Nigerians as they believed that the operation might have been launched to stop the ongoing protest.
However, Musa said the operation will tackle cyber warfare and insurgency in the country, particularly in the North-East, where Boko Haram insurgents have wrecked havoc.
The statement read in part, “The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to some social media stuff wrongfully condemning the Army and its Leadership over the announcement of Exercise Crocodile Smile VI particularly the Cyber Warfare Component of the Exercise.
“This year’s Exercise Crocodile Smile is scheduled to commence from the 20th of October to the 31st of December 2020 has no relationship with any lawful protest under any guise whatsoever.
“For the records, Exercise Crocodile Smile is a yearly exercise in the NA Calendar/Forecast of Events which traditionally holds from October to December of each year.
“Thus, 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. So far, the army has acted professionally since the civil protest started over two weeks ago."
The Army hereby urged Nigerians to go about their lawful activities unhindered as the Exercise has nothing to do with #EndSARS protest, but a yearly event set out to train NA officers and soldiers in its efforts to ensuring safety and security of Nigeria and her citizens.