James Ogunnaike – Abeokuta
General Officer Commanding (GOC) 81 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major-General Olu Irefin, on Tuesday, declared that law-abiding citizens in the country have nothing to fear about “Exercise Crocodile Smile IV”.
Irefin, who spoke at the flag-off of road maintenance from Alamala Barracks to Lafenwa Railway in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, reassured Nigerians about the ongoing military operation.
He declared that only criminals, miscreants and “those on the other side of the law” should be ready for military onslaught.
The GOC, who was accompanied by the Commander, 35 Artillery Brigade, Alamala, Abeokuta, Brigadier-General E.J. Amadasun, said the Army authorities desire a hitch-free festive period for Nigerians.
He explained that the Exercise Crocodile Smile IV was designed in line with military’s constitutional role of conducting internal security operation in aid of civil authority.
Irefin said, “Operation Crocodile Smile” is an exercise designed by the military and other civil organisations in aid of civilian government.
‘We want to ensure during this festive period, every citizen is able to go about his or her normal business without interference from miscreants. It is to checkmate the activities of miscreants and criminals perpetrating all kinds of crime within Ogun State.
“The aim of the exercise is to check crimes and criminal activities and ensure that people are able to live, sleep and go about their normal businesses without interference.
“Law abiding citizens have nothing to fear. But if you are a miscreants or on the other side of the law, then be ready for us.”
On the road maintenance, the GOC said it was part of the civil-military relations activities lined up for Exercise Crocodile Smile IV.
He appealed to the state governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, to assist the Army in fixing the deplorable condition of roads in Alamala and environs.
Irefin said, “It (road maintenance) is a civil-military programme to help our neighbours, who are assisting us, to be able to move freely within our communities.
“We do sincerely hope that the Governor who has the interest of the people at heart, who is very focused, will look into this direction to help in fixing this road. In the long run, it helps to shorten our time to react to situations if and when necessary.”