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The Joint Task Force (JTF) code-named Operation Delta Safe Thursday opted for distribution of exercise books to primary school pupils as against health outreach carried out last year during its Operation Crocodile Smiles 11.
The decision to go in for education outreach as part of this year’s Operation Crocodile Smiles 111 was to avoid the propaganda that trailed last year’s exercise during which parents withdrew their wards when words spread around that soldiers were injecting school children with deadly vaccines aimed at reducing the population in the Niger Delta region.
Commander, Sector One of the OPDS, Effurun, Col. Alhassan Grema, made the clarification while donating exercise books to pupils of Ethiope Primary School and St. Malachy Catholic Primary schools in Sapele, Delta State, as part of the on-going Operation Crocodile Smiles 111.
He said the military opted for donation of exercise books for primary schools to avoid the scandal that attended the last exercise and also in realisation that primary school is the foundation of academic excellence for future youths.
Grema, who was accompanied by the Commander of 18 Battalion, Koko, Major Y. M. Kachalla, urged the headmistresses of both schools to ensure equitable distribution of the books to the pupils to boost their morale.
Chairman of Sapele Local Government, Hon. Eugene Inoaghan, commended the JTF for the gesture assuring that the exercise will go a long way in fostering military/civilian relationship in the area.
The Headmistress of Ethiope Primary school, Sapele, Mrs. Edith
Agino, thanked the Army for the books noting that pupils have learnt the great roles being made by the military in the country.
On her part, the headmistress of St. Malachy Catholic Primary school, Ugbojiyi, Sapele, Mrs. Joyce Salami, assured the JTF Commander that the books would be judiciously used by the pupils.
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