Army Confiscates Gunboats from Bakassi Militants

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Bassey Inyang in Calabar

As the Nigerian Army prepares to conduct its military exercise code-named “Operation Crocodile Smile” in the creeks and swamps of Cross River State, it has announced that its officers and men have confiscated gunboats from militants operating in the Bakassi area of the state.

Making the disclosure in Calabar South Local Government Area on Monday, the Commander of 13 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Bulama Biu, said the gunboats are suspected to have been procured by a militant group. The Bakassi Strike Force (BSF), which has been operating in the area recently, displayed its war arsenal and calling on the federal government to include its members in the nation’s amnesty programme.

Biu spoke during the flag-off of medical and humanitarian outreaches on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff to mark the impending launch of Operation Crocodile Smile in the state.

He stated that the confiscation of the gunboats by the Nigerian Army was a clear indication that the militants or other criminal gangs were not in control of any part of the state.

The commander said in line with the mandate of operation “Operation Delta Safe,” men and officers of 13 Brigade have kept tabs on every security issue, the result being the calm and safety withnessed in the state.

He enjoined the people not to leave the security of their environment to security experts alone, but urged the people to support the army so they can record more successes in dealing with criminal elements in the society.

Explaining the import of the medical outreach, the brigade commander said: “The essence of the medical outreach is a way of appreciating the people of Calabar for their support towards our operations. We shall continue to strengthen our relationship through this outreach in order to earn their love”.

Biu disclosed that health education, free screening exercise, free drugs and mosquito nets, food stuff and disinfectants will be offered free to the beneficiaries of the medical facilities that would be provided.