Despite persistent condemnations trailing the deployment of the military to the Niger Delta, the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has thrown his weight behind it.
The governor, who said he wholly supports the Army’s Operation Crocodile Smile, said the operation would make the Niger Delta safer, while also promising that the state government would do all it can to ensure peace and security in the region.
Wike stated this on Monday when he received the the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai and other senior army officers in Port Harcourt.
“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 in so far as it is done with the constitution”, Wike said.
Buratai, who described Operation Crocodile Smile as a training operation for the army, assured that it would help address the security challenges in the Niger Delta.
“The ‘Operation Crocodile Smile’ is an exercise to train our troops on amphibious operations. 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,” Buratai said.
By Timothy Enietan-Matthews
RipplesNigeria …without borders, without fears