Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
The Nigerian Army yesterday denied that Operation Positive Identification, part of a larger Operation Crocodile Smile VI was aimed at disrupting the ongoing #EndSARS protests across the country.
An Army statement issued last night said there was no plans to disrupt the protests in any way.
The Army, which had during the launch of Operation Positive Identification in October 2019, said it was designed to track fleeing terrorists in the north, who had moved to other parts of the country.
Nigerian Army Headquarters had informed members of the public to always go about with a valid means of identification.
Troops were directed to strictly check “legitimate means of identification such as national identification card, voters registration card, drivers’ licence and international passport or other valid official identification before allowing such persons passage.”
It later announced that it was extending operation positive identification across the nation to checkmate bandits, kidnappers, armed robbers among others
It said this year’s Exercise Crocodile Smile VI scheduled to commence from the 20th of October to the 31 of December 2020 had no relationship with any lawful protest under any guise whatsoever.
“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 Nigerian Army has never been involved in the ongoing protest in any form whatsoever”, it said.
The statement signed by Army Spokesman, Col. Sagir Musa, said so far, the army had acted professionally since the civil protest started over two weeks ago.
“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.
“This year’s Exercise Crocodile Smile is scheduled to commence from the 20 of October to the 31 of December 2020 has no relationship with any lawful protest under any guise whatsoever,” it said.