Posted on Sun 8 Oct 2017, 07:39 AM

Following the announcement made by the Nigerian Army signaling the commencement of Operation Crocodile Smile in six Niger Delta ststes, militant groups have threatened to attack soldiers of the Nigerian Army.

The Nigerian Army had on Saturday, October 7 deployed more than 3,000 soldiers for the three-week operation which will run from October 7 to October 28, 2017.

In the address signaling the commencement of the exercise, The General officer Comanding 6th Division of the Nigerian Army in Port Harcourt, Major General Enobong Udoh assured that the Nigerian army is ready to work with other security agencies of government to ensure that there is peace and security.

According the Major General Udoh, the operation aims to "reassure the public that we are ready to fight crimes like cultism, militancy, and kidnapping so that people can go about their business without fear"

The militant group speaking through the Niger Delta Peoples Democratic Front have expressed their displeasure with the operation as they have termed it "unecessary".

While demanding that the troops leave the region immediately, the leader of the group "General Playboy noted that "the level of militancy is very low and there is no longer attacks on oil installations in the region. So, we want to know why troops are deployed in the region. Do they want to kill our people the way they killed some Igbo in the South-East"

Another group , the Pan Niger Delta Forun has urged the military to abide by the rules of engagement so as not to upset the fragile peace in the region. According Dr. Alfred Mulade, the groups coordinating secretary, 'the only advice we give to them is that they should be guided by their operational tenet and rules of engagement.

The operation Crocodile Smile which is the second of its kind will be carried out across 6 Niger Delta states.

 

By Joseph Odeh

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