Brutal #EndSARS Protests imminent as Army Launches ‘Crocodile Smile IV’
The Federal Government may have finally yielded to the temptation of quelling the ongoing #EndSARS protests via military might, in the guise of Exercise Crocodile Smile 6, which the Nigerian Army, yesterday, announced will commence on Tuesday, October 20.
This was announced in a statement titled, ‘Nigerian army sets to commence exercise Crocodile Smile VI nationwide’, and signed by Acting Director Army Public Relations, Sagir Musa, on Saturday, October 17, 2020.
Army spokesman, Col. Sagir Musa, in a Facebook post said: “The NA (Nigerian army) hereby warns all subversive elements and trouble makers to desist from such acts as it remains highly committed to defend the country and her democracy at all cost.”
In the statement, which many viewed as a veiled threat, Sagir said the army would “support the civil authority in whatever capacity to maintain law and order and deal with any situation decisively.”
For more than a week, the youths have been on the streets, blocking highways and calling on the federal government to disband the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a unit of the Nigeria Police Force infamous for human rights abuse and extra-judicial activities.
The protesting youths have also been calling on the government to reform the police among other demands.
Two weeks after the protest started on social media, it has spread to major cities in the country.
However, the army in its statement said the ‘Crocodile Smile VI’ will include fights against negative propaganda on social media.
The statement reads, “This year’s Exercise CROCODILE SMILE V1 is scheduled to commence from the 20th of October to the 31st of December 2020.
“The exercise is deliberately intended to be all-encompassing to include cyber warfare exercises designed to identify, track and counter negative propaganda in the social media and across the cyberspace.
“This is the first-ever Cyberwarfare exercise to be conducted in the history of the African Armed Forces. Accordingly, the exercise will also include positive identification component aimed at identifying Boko Haram terrorists fleeing from the North East and other parts of the country as a result of the ongoing operations in the various theatres of operations especially in the Northeast, North Central and North Western parts of Nigeria.
“The Nigerian Army, once again, reassures all well-meaning Nigerians of its commitment to the sustenance of peace and security in Nigeria and urges members of the public for their support and understanding throughout the period of the exercise.”
The army first launched ‘Crocodile Smile’ in 2016 to address security in the south-south region.