Military Amasses Troops, Weapons for Exercise as Plateau is Placed on Alert over Boko Haram


Seriki Adinoyi in Jos and Senator Iroegbu in Abuja

The Nigerian military has amassed troops, arms and ammunition in readiness for Operation Crocodile Smile exercise, designed to battle the criminals, militants and other armed groups in the Niger Delta region of the country.

This is as Major General Rogers Nicholas; Commander of Security Taskforce in Plateau State has charged residents to remain on the alert and watch out for strange faces amongst them, noting that the call became necessary to avoid fleeing members of Boko Haram that still posed security risks, from settling down among them.

The Director of Army Public Relations (DAPR), Col. Sani Usman, in a statement yesterday, said that the army had made available the necessary logistics for the exercise.

Usman also provided several photographs of troops training and large cache of weapons, arms and ammunitions “in preparation for Exercise Crocodile Smile”.

He said: “The military training exercise embarked upon by the Nigerian Army to train its Special Forces, formations and units located in the South-South geo-political zone of the country has commenced in earnest.

“Recall that we have shown you the massing up of the troops yesterday, today, we are showing you photographs of the logistics build up and most importantly, the human side of the exercise; ongoing free medical outreach for Sapele communities in Delta State.”

The Army Spokesman also said that apart from the combat aspect, the military was also poised to provide medical and humanitarian services to the affected communities in the Niger Delta.

Here, he said, the Nigerian Army Medical Corps had fully deployed, attending to medical needs of the communities free of charge.

Some of the weapons include Patrol and gun boats, trucks, vests and battle tanks amongst others

The Commander in Jos stated this in his maiden media briefing to newsmen on current security developments in the state.

He said, “I have established a monthly media briefing to keep Plateau citizens abreast of issues regarding peace and security in the state under my command.

“I want to use the opportunity to let Plateau citizens know that they need to be on the alert and be very vigilant of their environment because there are feelers that members of Boko Haram who have been displaced from the North-East might make Plateau state their safe haven.

“With such information, residents need to be very vigilant at all times and report to security agencies as soon as they notice strange fellow amongst and around them. There is also need for residents to tighten their cooperation with security agencies and learn to report promptly.”

General Nicholas also observed that crime in Jos city was on the increase, adding that “we have arrested over 120 suspects in the last few weeks and we have handed them over to the police for full investigation.”

“Though we believe the rise in crime could be attributed to mass unemployed youths in the state, police investigation will reveal the true identity of the criminals. All we have to let the people know is that they should be vigilant at all times to avoid these criminals hiding amongst them.

“Due to current security situation in the state we have taken measures to spoil the plan of these criminals, one of such measures is banning the use of tricycle at night from 9pm till 5am. This is because the use of tricycle at night is posing serious security risk to us in the state.

“Also, we will begin to enforce total ban on motorcycle within Jos metropolis. There is an existing law banning the use of motorcycle in this state, the law has not been fully enforced, we shall ensure full enforcement of that law immediately.

“We are also going to drive market women from around the Terminus market, because the population of the market is increasing and such huge population can be of great security risk considering recent experience of repeated bombing of the market places.

“The actions we are taking should not be seen as abuse of rights of citizens, especially the commercial tricycle users, but should be seen as action taken in the interest of safety of lives and prop