By: Joy Odor/Kaduna
In continuation of the ongoing “Exercise Crocodile Smile II”, the Nigerian Army 3 Battalion in Effurun, Uvwie Local Government Area, Delta State on Tuesday took its medical outreach programme to Egbokodo-Itsekiri Community with a call on residents to cooperate and see the Army as their friend.
The Commander of the Joint Task Force in Niger Delta (Sector 1), Brig. Gen. A M Grema enjoined residents to embrace the free medical programme as well as help the Army with useful information during the exercise.
Brig. Gen. Grema stated that “Exercise Crocodile Smile I” is an avenue for the Army to train its personnel on how to deal with contemporary challenges and assured the people of the area that they have nothing to be afraid of if they are not criminals.
“You have nothing to fear if you are not a criminal. Enjoy our free medical outreach, cooperate. If you have any information that can help us in the exercise, we welcome it.”
“It is in continuation of the first edition of this exercise. Last year we had Exercise Crocodile Smile I. This is Exercise Crocodile Smile II. It’s not much. We are just using it as an avenue to train our personnel on how to deal with contemporary challenges.”
Addressing the people of Egbokodo-Itsekiri Community, the Commanding Officer 3 Battalion, Maj. A T Abdulkadri begged residents to report any areas of “Critical Security Challenges” to the Army and other sister Security Agencies as well as provide same with vital information on areas that is of threat to them.
Maj. Abdulkadri stated that the “Exercise Crocodile Smile” is in synergy with all other Security Agencies including the Police, Department for State Security, DSS and other sister agencies.
Maj. Abdulkadri noted that the Army is in the Community to ensure that criminals are ridden of the Community with “Exercise Crocodile Smile II”.
“Operation Crocodile Smile II” is an all-encompassing operation which involves both civil/military cooperation activities of the Army that will rid the entire area of criminals and lawlessness.
“This is just one of the series of activities lined up for the ongoing Operation Crocodile Smile. It is a way of bringing the Army closer to the people. Just a way of telling the people that the Army is here for them.”
“The people of Egbokodo-Itsekiri Community are most lucky to be the first beneficiaries of this Ongoing Exercise Crocodile Smile II. Much more civil/military cooperation activities will still be conducted as events unfold.”
He enjoined members of the public not to panic on seeing the movement of military equipment and troops to staging areas as their safety and well-being is guaranteed at all times.
The public is also requested to remain vigilant, security conscious and report suspected criminals who will likely flee the military exercise areas to find safe haven among communities.
Egbokodo Community Spokesman, Mr. Joseph Tete disclosed that there was “No military intimidation” saying the Army has come to help them.
Egbokodo Community Youth Chairman, Comrade Blessing Atiwa corroborated the claims of the Spokesman and appreciated the Army for kind gesture while describing the claims of military intimidation by the Army as “rumor” just as he urged indigenes and residents to come out en-mass to enjoy the programme.
The Army also offered Blood pressure, Random blood Sugar, free consultation with medical doctors, physiotherapy and free medication.