The Nigerian Army has clarified that the ‘Operation Crocodile Smile’ which is taking off across the country on Tuesday, is not targeted at those protesting against the extrajudicial activities of the now-defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
KanyiDaily recalls that the Nigerian Army had announced that they will begin “Operation Crocodile Smile” from the 20th of October to the 31st of December 2020.
The announcement raised a lot of question because it is coming at the time when Nigerian youths are staging a nationwide protest against the SARS tactical unit of the Nigerian Police Force over its brutality, illegal arrest, extortion, extra-judicial killings, among others.
However, a statement issued on Sunday night, the Army Spokesperson, Musa Sagir clairified that the exercise has no relationship with any lawful protest under any guise whatsoever.
According to him, the cyber-warfare operation, which is the first in the history of the African Armed Forces, was designed to identify, track, and counter negative propaganda on social media and across cyberspace.
“The attention of the Nigerian Army (NA) 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 enjoins all law abiding 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”.
KanyiDaily had reported how President Muhammadu Buhari rejected a request from the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Tukur Burutai, to depoly soldiers to disperse the ongoing #EndSARS protest.