By: Ade Adeleke
The Nigerian Army today flagged-off Operation Crocodile Smile lV in Okitipupa area of Ondo State with a warning to all criminal elements in the State to desist from their unholy activities and surrender illegally acquired weapons or be ready to face decisive actions from security agencies.
Anthony Omozoje, General Officer Commanding 2 Division of the Nigerian Army, who gave the warning during the flag-off, said that it had become imperative for all suspected criminals in Ondo State especially southern part of the state to shun crime or face full wrath of the law.
During the Exercise Crocodile Smile IV that will end on December 23, 2019, the Nigerian Army donated some Computer System & Printers, Exercise books, Generating sets stationary and sporting materials to schools at Atijere community on Ilaje local government area while some communities in Ondo south senatorial district will be provided with free health services.
Omozoje, who was represented by Brig.Gen.Thomas Ogunsugba, noted that the exercise was part of the Army’s constitutional roles of acting in aid to civil authority in combating various security threats faced by the affected regions such as kidnapping, armed robbery, cultism, pipeline vandalism and other sundry crimes.
Omozoje said “Criminal elements in the state are hereby warned in their own interest to desist from their nefarious activities and surrender illegal acquired weapons or be met with decisive and appropriate action by the security agencies.”
Omozoje, who said that the exercise was designed to be interagency and inter service driven urged the participants which include NPF, DSS, NSDC, Custom, Immigration, NDLEA and Prisons service to work harmoniously as a team and maintain the existing synergy among them.
“To the participants, as you aware the Nigerian army has zero tolerance for human rights abuses. Respect the rights of law abiding citizens as you carry out your assigned tasks.
“You must adhere to the code of conduct and rules of engagement guiding the conduct of the exercise which has been issued.
“To the people of the state, I implore you to contribute your quota to the success of this exercise by volunteering information that could assist the brigade to realise the objectives of exercise crocodile smile lV.
“To the members of the forth estate of the realm, please endeavor to verify information from the appropriate authorities to avoid fake news that could jeopardize the success of the exercise,” Omozoje admonished.
In a remark, the Commander 32 Artillery Brigade, Akure, Brig. Gen. Zakari Abubakar, said that the exercise would also use to prevent stockpiling of arms and ammunition by criminal groups across the state.
Abubakar, assured people of the state that brigade would continue to collaborate with other agencies to maintain law and order.
“I must particularly commend the vigorous effort of our amiable GOC for providing the needed logistics, guidance and direction in ensuring the security and safety of lives and properties of the people of Ondo State.
“Worthy of note, is the guidance on the conduct of various clearance operations within the state which is in tandem with the Divisional contingence plan of ensuring the safety of lives and properties of citizen under her internal security operations,” Brigade Commander said.
“I also wish to state that what you are seeing today speaks volume at the level of synergy between the Brigade and other sister agencies as evidenced by the presence of the various Heads of Security Agencies and the series of joint operations undertaken in the state. I wish to use this opportunity to assure the GOC that the Brigade will continue to consolidate on the gains achieved so far to make Ex CROCODILE SMILE IV a huge success,” Abubakar said.
Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu who was represented by the Secretary to the state government, Mr Sunday Abegunde pledged the state government’s continuous support to any operation towards securing of lives and property of the citizenry.
The event was attended by Security chiefs, Traditional rulers and political office holders.