Crocodile Smile 4: Army gives quit order to criminals in Lagos, Ogun
The Nigerian Army has commenced Exercise Crocodile Smile 4 in Lagos and Ogun states and has also handed down and immediate quit order to criminals operating in these states to vacate the areas or be crushed.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, who gave the warning said Exercise Crocodile Smile 4 operatives will not hesitate to deal ruthlessly with criminals, including armed robbers and pipeline vandals within the Lagos and Ogun axis.
General Buratai spoke at the commencement of the Exercise, saying that it will be intelligence driven with the aim of smoking out criminals from their hideouts and to ensure that the Christmas period would be crime free.
Exercise Crocodile Smile 4, Buratai said, will be conducted in line with military’s constitutional role of conducting internal security operation in aid of civil authority, adding that the Exercise will dovetail into real time operations at any moment a potent threat is encountered.
General Buratai, who was represented by the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 81 Division Major General Olu Irefin, spoke just as the Governor of Lagos State Babajide Sanwo-Olu encouraged Lagosians to accept the military operation as it will help curb crime and criminality within the state to the barest minimum.
He lamented the rising incidences of pipeline vandalism in the state, recalling a near disaster that was averted at Abesan area of Iyana Ipaja where oil thieves broke a fuel pipeline in order to siphon petrol from the area.
“Exercise Crocodile Smile IV, which seeks, among others, to ensure peace and security within the division’s domain during the weeks before Christmas festivities, is a welcome development as it promises to ensure that criminal elements have no safe haven within the period,” he stated.
“From antecedents, the security issues prevalent within the yuletide are not lost to any of us, as criminal elements move to amass wealth through underhanded means during the period.”
The Governor, represented by his deputy, Obafemi Hamzat, said that his government is always ready to assist the military and the other security agencies to achieve their mission, pointing out that “when the Lagos State Government under my leadership clocked 100 days in office on 6 September 2019, we launched 120 patrol vehicles and 35 motorcycles which we distributed to security agencies to support their operations.”
He added that “with Exercise Crocodile Smile IV coming onboard in the run up to Christmas and beyond, the prospects are very bright that Lagosians and I believe the good people of Ogun State too will enjoy hitch-free 2019/2020 yuletide season.”
He reminded the military about the civil-military activities that are part of the Exercise, adding that these activities will serve to endear the military to the people.
The event, which was attended by Lagos dignitaries, showcased a beach landing demonstration by troops of the Nigerian Army, who exhibited their dexterity in dealing with insurgents during real time operations.
Medical outreach was also initiated by the Nigerian Army Medical Corps led by Colonel Oni, where over 1,000 women and children were given free treatment and other medical supplies, including mosquito nets and medicines.
General Officer Commanding 81 Division, Major General Olu Irefin warned that criminals within the division’s area of responsibility will have no hiding place during the period of the Exercise.