The Nigerian Army on Saturday revealed at the closing ceremony of the Crocodile Smile 2 at 192 Battalion, Ajilete, Ogun State, that no fewer than 399 suspects were arrested for various offences during the Exercise Crocodile Smile 2 in Lagos and Ogun States. About 1000 officers were involved in the operation.
The 35 Artillery Brigade Commander, Brig.-Gen. Bassey Adonkie, who explained that the operation was aimed at flushing out pipeline vandals, kidnappers and miscreants said “The exercise led to the arrest of suspects including armed robbers, kidnappers and recovery of ammunition.
“So far, a total of 399 suspects were arrested for different offences across as the South-West region and handed over to various security agencies concerned.
“In addition, 20 assorted arms were recovered, while illicit drugs were also recovered and handed over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA)”.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, who was represented by the Chief of Training and Operations, Maj.-Gen. David Ahmadu, said
“Experience drawn from the exercise conducted in 2016 revealed that criminals and miscreants do fled from areas of ongoing operations to seek safe haven and cause security menace in areas hitherto regarded as peaceful.
“It was in line with this development, that I deemed it necessary to extend the areas of coverage for this year’s exercise crocodile smile, to cover the South-West and South-South regions of the country.
“The army places premium on training and thus Exercise Crocodile Smile is one of the training activities embarked on to sharpen the skills of personnel in the conduct of operation”.
The General Officer Commanding (GOC), 81 Division, Maj.-Gen. Peter Dauke, in his opening remark, said that the exercise was flagged off by the chief of army staff on Oct.7.
“The exercise was designed to develop and enhance professionalism among units, foster relationship and synergy among participating services, security agencies.
“It was also designed to improve the overall planning and conduct of internal security operations in combating prevalent security challenges.
“It is gladdening to note that the exercise was able to mitigate prevalent security challenges such as reduction in pipeline vanderlism, militancy, ritual killings, smuggling, kidnapping and drug related offences amongst others’.