The Nigerian Army has said it would commence Exercise Crocodile Smile VI from October 20 to December 31, as part of its effort to enhance the safety and security of the country.
This was contained 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.
The Crocodile Smile VI is coming amidst nationwide protests against police brutality, extortion, and extrajudicial killings.
Many youths have expressed anger over abuses by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad operatives and have taken to the streets.
The #EndSARS hashtag started on social media after a video showing what looked like a SARS officer attacking a man spread online.
Musa said the exercise was traditionally scheduled in the last quarter of every year to checkmate all forms of crimes and criminality as the end of the year approaches.
He explained that this year’s exercise was intended to be more all-encompassing to include cyber warfare exercises designed to identify, track, and counter negative propaganda in the social media and across the cyberspace.
The statement read, “The Nigerian Army is set to start its annual Exercise CROCODILE SMILE which is traditionally conducted in the last quarter of the year. This year’s Exercise CROCODILE SMILE VI 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.”