The Nigerian Army has launched Operation Crocodile Smile VI Exercise in Bayelsa State.
The event took place at the Army Super Camp, Ema-Okenema in the Ogbia Local Government Area of the state on Thursday.
Speaking, the General Officer Commanding 6 Division, Nigerian Army, Major General Olu Irefin, said the exercise was at the behest of the Army Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, to enhance the operational capability of army personnel.
He said the exercise would end on December 31 and “it is targeted at curtailing prevailing security threats such as cultism, illegal oil bunkering, pipeline vandalism and other crimes in the state.”
Irefin pledged the Nigerian Army readiness to cooperate with other security agencies and uphold professional ethics as well as standard rules of engagement for internal security operations.
In his remarks, the Governor of Bayelsa State, Douye Diri, praised the Nigerian Army and other security agencies for their services, which culminated in the successful inauguration of his administration on February 14.
Diri, who was represented by his deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, particularly thanked the army for the role its men and officers played to prevent the breakdown of law and order in the state.
He said but for the gallantry and professionalism of the army, Bayelsa would have been thrown into chaos as a result of the Supreme Court ruling on February 13.
He also expressed gratitude to security agencies for being alive to their responsibilities during the #EndSARS protests to forestall carnage in the state.
The governor said: “Your singular show of professionalism was able to nip in the bud the rascality and criminal activities that tried to rear up their ugly heads as a result of the Supreme Court decision that restored our stolen mandate on the 13th of February 2020.
“If not of your effort, we believe that the carnage that took take place in the state would have gone beyond what we saw. So, we want to thank the Nigerian Army and other security agencies for the roles you all played in the events that led to our successful swearing-in on the 14th of February.”