The Nigerian Army has clarified that “Operation Crocodile Smile” is not targeted at #EndSARS protesters.
Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Sagir Musa, made this known in a press statement on Sunday.
The Nigerian Army had on Saturday announced that its Operation Crocodile Smile would hold between October 20 and December 31 nationwide.
The announcement came amidst #EndSARS protests against police brutality, extortion, and extrajudicial killings in the country, creating a panic that the operation might have been launched to stop the protest.
But Musa said the operation will tackle cyber warfare and insurgency in the country, particularly in the North-East, where Boko Haram insurgents have caused massive destruction.
In a statement on Saturday, the Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col Sagir Musa, said this year’s Operation Crocodile Smile would hold between October 20 and December 31.
The statement read in part, “The attention of the Nigerian Army 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.
Sadiq Adeleke has written on The Punch online portal.