From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Nigerian Army has said that the military exercise, Operation Crocodile Smile II is to increase the operations of the Nigerian Army in the Niger Delta region.
The Army also reacted to the report of a vaccination which caused pandemonium in Yenagoa.
The Brigade Commander, 16 Brigade, Brig- Gen Kevin Aligbe who said the operation was to increase the rhythm and mileage of the army in the Niger Delta maintained that there was no need for the people to panic.
Aligbe spoke Saturday during the environmental exercise by the 16 Brigade as part of the activities for the period of the operation and said the Army would maintain professionalism during the exercise.
“Operation crocodile smile II is intended to increase the rhythm of our combat operations in the creeks and land-based activities. At the end of the day the operational skills of all those participating will be sharpened and of course, we would have gained more mileage. Of course, a lot of resources have been given to the army headquarters to boost what we are doing.
He said apart from the routine activities in the creeks, rivulets and all land patrols, confidence building and all of that, the military decided to undertake some communities’ relation activities to bridge the gaps between the army and the immediate communities where they reside.
On the reported vaccination, Aligbe who noted that the Army has no intention of conducting a vaccination since it is not part of its medical outreaches noted that its medical outreaches are not forced on people.
‘‘During our outreach, we do not do vaccinations, we do not do immunization; we do basic medical checks and then offer medical materials to individuals that need them and it not by force. You will be surprised that in this time and age when you have social media that not even a shadow of the called people dressed in military uniform was caught on camera, especially with everybody having a cell phone that has a camera in it. Not even one school, not anywhere the same message, the same rumour that was heard in other states, but unfortunately was replicated here in Yenegoa, yesterday and caused a lot of apprehensions but as leaders we must stay on the part of truth in making sure that the services that are expected of us are delivered to the people. That is the professional responsibility that we have to the community where we reside and so our business.” (The Sun)