Governor Wike declares support for onslaught on militancy

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has declared  his support for the  Operation Crocodile Smile by the Nigerian Army, saying that he will do everything to ensure  peace and  security  in the Niger Delta.


This is as the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai explained  that  the  Operation Crocodile Smile was introduced to train army personnel on the  techniques of operating in the Niger Delta.


Governor Wike spoke on Monday when he granted audience to the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai and Senior Army Officers at the Government House, Port Harcourt.


The governor said: “The Rivers State Government is fully in support of the Operation Crocodile Smile. I was fully briefed by the Brigade Commander and we associate ourselves with the programme because it will make  the Niger Delta safer.


“One of the advantages of the programme is that hoodlums in the creeks are being uprooted for a safer Niger Delta.  I support  the programme  insofar  as it is done with the constitution “.


According to the governor, the Rivers State Government will sustain  its support for security  agencies  to create the right atmosphere  for democratic governance.


He said that the State Government has procured 6 New Armoured Personnel Carriers  for the Police and in the process of concluding the acquisition of 10 gunboats  for the Nigerian Navy.


Earlier, the  Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai said that the Operation Crocodile Smile  will ensure that the security challenges  in the Niger Delta are addressed and peace enhanced.


He said: “The Operation Crocodile Smile is an exercise  to train our troops on amphibious  operations “.


The Army Chief said that the exercise  seeks to provide the civil  authorities  with the right environment  to carry out  governance.


He said the exercise  will ensure  that  the  troops are professional  with the required training to conduct operations within the law.


He said: “Our waters are generally porous.  The Nigerian Army has amphibious capabilities in conjunction with the Nigerian Navy to carry out limited operations within the creeks”.


General Buratai  added that another aspect of the Operation Crocodile Smile  will witness the Army intervening in critical areas of need for the communities.  He said  that  the  Army has already embarked on medical outreach in Bille  (Rivers State) and  Nembe  (Bayelsa State).