• As army kills 23 militants, loses 4
THE General Commanding Officer (GOC) of the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Enugu, Major-General Ibrahim Attahiru, has said that the just concluded military exercise in the Niger Delta Region tagged “Crocodile Smile” was aimed at stemming growing restiveness in the region, saying that 23 militants were killed while 38 militant camps and 91 illegal refineries as well as bunkering sites were destroyed in the process.
Major-General Attahiru who addressed journalists in Enugu on Saturday, also disclosed that the Army recorded 4 casualties, warning that the Army formation in Enugu would continue to halt the myriad of security threats cum economic sabotage within its area of responsibility.
The GOC who noted that the Army Division would continue to maintain operational tempo to consolidate on the gains it achieved during the exercise, reiterated that Army formation would continue without hesitation to defeat any attempt at brazen attacks on national critical infrastructure, oil and gas resources and overall strangulation of the socio-economy of law abiding citizenry by any group of militants or criminals.”
According to him, “the exercise, Crocodile smile, ended not just as a training exercise, but also as a way of demonstrating the capacity and efficacy of the Nigerian Army to secure lives and property in the Niger Delta and Southeast Nigeria.
“Unfortunately, four members of our troops got drowned in the general area of Brass in Bayelsa State due to a boat mishap while another one was killed in action elsewhere around Obiozunmini near Obite in Onelga, Rivers State in fire fight with the criminals/militants,” he stated.
“Most importantly, the Division is ever committed to the strategic direction of the Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Defence State and the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the
Federal Republic of Nigeria,” he added.
He recalled that as part of the exercise, the Chief of Army Staff and his entourage visited the governors, prominent traditional rulers and other relevant stakeholders in Bayelsa, Cross River and
Rivers states, stressing that the Army Division in collaboration and synergy with the Nigerian Navy and Nigerian Air Force as well as other security agencies remained vital.