Nigerian Army on Friday aforesaid the rise in crimes in coastal areas of the country compelled it to accelerate training and operations within the amphibious environment.The Chief of Army staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, aforesaid this at Takwa Bay Island in Lagos State once he launched “Exercise crocodile Smile II.”
According to him, the ‘Order of Battle’ 2016 provides for the amphibious battalion within the island to stay the coastal area of Lagos State safe.
He said, “a detachment of Nigerian Army has since been stationed on the island; additional army presence will be felt presently on the island and other parts of the country in line with the 2016 Order of Battle as fund becomes offered.”
The army chief recalled that the primary part of the exercise that took place between August and September 2016 in Abia, Bayelsa, Cross river, Delta, IMO and Rivers states recorded tremendous success.
He aforesaid it degraded activities of militants and illegal oil bunkering, destruction of kidnappers’ den and rescue of kidnapped victims, destruction of cultists’ camps, among others.
Buratai, however, aforesaid the success of Exercise crocodile Smile I in those states pushed some criminal components to alternative parts of the country, thus necessitating “readjustment” of the area of operation of the second phase in 2017.
He accessorial that it had been in this regard that the exercise was being conducted within the South-South and South West regions.
He noted that it had been being done with sister agencies to sharpen troops’ combat skills on land and amphibious environment and consolidate on gains achieved within the initial phase.