Operation Crocodile Smile 11 on course
The continued military exercise in the Niger Delta region code-named Operation Crocodile 11 is flaunted as a huge success by the Nigerian military. The military operations which specifically targets areas under the 6th division of the Nigerian Army which it called Area of Responsibility AOR comprised army formations in Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Bayelsa State.
The Deputy Director Army Public Relations, 6th Division Col Aminu lliyasu reeled out the achievements of the exercise disclosing that the increased presence of the military on land, sea, and air in these targeted areas had forced criminals to flee. It has also enabled criminals camps and hideouts to be discovered and destroyed as many of them have been arrested and handed over to various investigating authorities. Criminal gangs have also been smashed, kidnappers accosted and criminalities reduced in various areas of operation.
Col. Lliyasu also revealed that activities of sea pirates within the areas have been checkmated whilst several cultists and kidnappers have been arrested and handed over to the various investigating authorities for prosecution. He stated that the activities of oil bunkerers and oil thieves suffered serious setbacks as the military has thwarted their continued illegal and criminal operations whilst many illegal refineries have been destroyed.
Nigerian Armed Forces Ready for Action
Col. Lliyasu revealed that the troops from the 2nd Brigade Command covering Akwa-Ibom State made startling discoveries of many criminals’ hideouts, sponsors of terror and frustrated criminal activities in various parts of the state especially in the Ukanafun, Etim Ekpo and Oruk Anam Local Government Areas of the state.
Also dismantled by the army division is a criminal gang of cultist, kidnappers, and ritualist whose names were given as Akan Monday Amos, Abak Obong and Oyobong Frank Udoh. The gang is believed to have terrorized their communities for many years with several incidents of armed robberies, kidnapping, and rituals.
The army public relation officer also mentioned among several successes, the arrest of a suspected arms supplier one Friday Silas Udoh in Ukanafun Local Government Area. The said suspect was arrested with live cartridges, locally made guns, gunpowder and single barrel guns which were all recovered from his residence.
Chief of Army Staff Lt General Buratai
In the neighbouring Rivers State, troops of the 6th Brigade still an integral part of Operation Crocodile 11 also achieved huge successes in reducing criminal activities in various part of the state. For instance, it was revealed that the troops of the 29th Battalion under the 6th Brigade Command in Rivers State accosted a Mark Truck suspected of carrying stolen crude at Rukpoku in Obio-Akpor Local Government Area only for the occupants to abandon the truck and fled.
In Kurughene general area some illegal bunkerers were arrested with their tools of business while more than two illegal oil refineries were discovered and destroyed in Patrick Waterside, Bodo Axis by troops of the 146 Battalion and in Bolo area of the state. Several other illegal refineries, depots, and militants camps have been confirmed destroyed at Akpara, Ayoisi, Idama and Kilometres 45.
Burnt Militant’s Camp
The troops of the Operation Crocodile Smile 11 were said to have benefitted immensely from information supplied by members of the public on the nefarious activities and atrocities of these criminals. For example, it was revealed by the military authorities that a major arrest of two notorious kidnappers/cultists namely Mr. Justice Sigah and God knows who have been terrorizing the inhabitants of Odemisama and Odemude communities in Ohoada Local Government Area of the state was made possible through information supplied by residents of the area.
All the recorded successes made against criminality in these two states with all the recovered items and suspects are said to have been well documented by the military command while the arrested criminals with their illegal weapons and tools have been handed over to various investigating authorities for prosecution. The army public relation officer, Col Lliyasu appreciated residents of the affected areas of operation for volunteering information and supporting the work of the military personnel thereby enabling the arrest of most of the criminals and the uprooting of their gangs.
Seized Petroleum Products from Bunkerers
It would be recalled that the Chief of Army Staff Lt General Tukur Buratai launched the Operation Crocodile 11 military exercise in the south-south Niger Delta region of Nigeria on the 13th of October 2017 amid fear and apprehension from the people in the region. However, it appears that rather than being a tool for oppression and destruction of the communities as feared, The Operation Crocodile 11 has become a tool for eradicating criminality in the Niger Delta thereby guaranteeing safety and peace for investments and progress.