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Yoruba Youths Back Nigerian Army’s Exercise Crocodile Smile, Laud Past Successful Outings

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The Coalition of Progressive Yoruba Youths (CYYY) has welcomed the commencement of the Nigerian Army’s annual exercise, ‘Crocodile Smile’. 

According to the Yoruba youths, the operation which commenced in 2016 has been a tremendous success, curbing crime and criminal activities and will continue that trend this year.
 
Comrade Kola Salau, speaking on behalf of the group at a press conference on Monday in Lagos noted that the addition of cyberwar makes this year’s edition unique. 

Salau said that this would help identify, track and counter negative propaganda in the social media and across the cyberspace.

Recalling previous editions, Salau noted that “the military made significant strides as it raided suspected criminal hideouts in the creeks around Ajaosolo, Okogho, Opumani, and Obodo general area and in the process, intercepted suspected illegal oil bunkers and several items.
 
“It was the success of the first exercise that necessitated the launch of Exercise Crocodile Smile II on Takwa Bay Island in Lagos and the sequels because it pushed some criminal elements fleeing from the Niger Delta to other parts of the country”. 

Salau added that ” those of us from the Southwest are particularly concerned because of the enormous human and material resources in the region”.

He, however, assured that the exercise has nothing to do with the ongoing protests in the country. 

The Yoruba youths advised innocent and law-abiding Nigerians that they have nothing to fear as the army have earned a reputation as a highly professional and disciplined institution.

Read full statement below:

It is instructive that we address you on a matter of urgent national importance given what the nation is going through at the moment.

You will agree with us that after the Nigerian military made significant progress in quelling terrorism and banditry in parts of the country, that it is likely that some of the criminal elements may have escaped into the hinterland to continue their heinous acts.

Recent events leading to thdisbandmentnt of the Special Anti Robbery Squad, SARS, of the Nigeria Police Force, has also given citizens concerns about the internal security situation in Nigeria and the police and other security agencies forced out of the streets, concerned Nigerians have expressed fears that crime and criminal activities may escalate in the country and have stressed the fact that the lives of our people, property and investments must be protected by the government.

As we all know, the government of President Muhammadu Buhari has never shied away from performing its primary responsibility, which is the protection of lives and property as it has technically defeated terrorism and cracked down on banditry and other forms of crime.

It is in that bid that we welcome the recent announcement by the Nigerian Army, that it is set to continue its annual exercise CROCODILE SMILE on Tuesday.

Since the launch of the exercise in 2016 in the Niger Delta region, the Operation CROCODILE SMILE has been a huge success in curbing crime and criminal activities that its area of coverage was widened and relaunched annually in five different phases. 

The launch of the exercise this year would be the sixth in the series of sequels launched to combat crime.

The only addition to the exercise which will make Operation CROCODILE SMILES VI unique in operation is that it will be enabled to identify, track and counter negative propaganda in the social media and across the cyberspace.

This means that it will be an all-encompassing exercise which in addition to tracking cyber warfare exercises will also include identifying Boko Haram terrorists fleeing from the Northeast and other parts of the country for the sustenance of peace and security in Nigeria.

From these, we can se
that the launch of the exercise has nothing to do with the ongoing protests in Nigeria as is being peddled by mischief makers as the relaunch of the exercise has become a yearly event since 2016 when it was first launched.
 
Innocent and law-abiding Nigerians have nothing to fear about the exercise as the Nigerian Army has earned a reputation for itself as a highly professional and disciplined institution.
 
This is encapsulated in the fact that for the over five years of Operation CROCODILE SMILE in various parts of the country,  troops have not lost focus on what is expected of them but have abided by the rules of engagement in carrying out their tasks of flushing out criminal elements.

On the other hand, those that have every reason to fear are the criminal’s elements in the country who are making life miserable for millions of citizens through acts like kidnapping, extortion, fraud, armed robbery, oil theft and cybercrime. 

Nigerians must ignore the cynicism and attempt to paint the current exercise in a bad light as this is not the first time that agents of anarchy have tried to do so but failed.

When the Nigerian Army launched the first exercise in the Niger Delta region which was aimed at restoring normalcy to the area and to provide adequate security for residents and the national assets situated there, it was called names and there were allegations that the exercise was an attempt at genocide by the Nigerian government on the people of the region.

It was not long before they confirmed it was to check criminal activities like kidnapping, militancy, piracy and other forms of criminal activities in support of the civil authority and to keep Nigeria and its economy safe and going without interruption.

Despite the cynicism,  the military made significant strides with the exercise as it raided suspected criminal hideouts in the creeks around Ajaosolo, Okogho, Opumani, and Obodo general area and in the process, intercepted suspected illegal oil bunkers and several items.

The first phase of the exercise which took place between August and September 2016 in Abia, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Imo and Rivers
states recorded tremendous success as it degraded activities of militants and illegal oil bunkering, destroyed kidnappers’ den, rescued kidnapped victims and destroyed several cultists’ camps.

It was the success of the first exercise that necessitated the launch of Exercise Crocodile Smile II on Takwa Bay Island in Lagos and the sequels because it pushed some criminal elements fleeing from the Niger Delta to other parts of the country.

In the same vein, since the suspected terrorists and criminal elements are running away from other parts of the country like the Northeast, Northwest, Northcentral and other parts of the country, it is only appropriate for the army to launch Operation CROCODILE SMILES VI to apprehend these elements and the make the country peaceful and secure for the people.

Those of us from the Southwest are particularly concerned because of the enormous human and material resources in the region.

The region arguably has the highest concentration of talents and entrepreneurial concerns as well as Small and Medium Scale Enterprises which complements the government’s efforts in providing jobs to our teeming populace. 

The large number of international markets coupled with public and private assets are also avenues for economic growth.

We, therefore, welcome the steps the government is trying to take to protect lives and property and commend the Nigerian Army for coming up with the initiative. 

We welcome Operation CROCODILE SMILE VI.

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Buratai, Other Former Service Chiefs Have Passed Test, Ready To Serve Foreign Missions – Nigeria First

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The Nigeria First movement has welcomed the confirmation of former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai (rtd) and other immediate past service chiefs as ambassadors designate by the Senate. 

By their confirmation, the group noted the ex-COAS and his counterparts have passed the test, “unblemish in character and therefore fit to serve as heads of our foreign missions”. 

Th group made this known on Thursday in a press statement in Abuja signed by its president, Chief Philip Agbese. 

Owing to their trackrecord from a highly professional background, Agbese expressed optimism that they will deploy their wealth of knowledge and experience to bear on their new assignments.

He, however, urged the Federal Government to ensure that the diplomats are deployed to countries where their impact will be most felt.

While commending President Muhammadu Buhari for finding the former military chiefs worthy, Chief Agbese added that he should deploy them to countries with the needed military technology relevant to Nigeria’s current security situation which will help improve military cooperation between the two countries.

Read full statement below: 

On behalf of NIGERIA FIRST, May l commend the Senate for performing this important function. This is a patriotic act.

One of the important ingredients of democracy is the separation of powers.It is on this tripod of this power separation that good governance thrives. The confirmation exercise by the Senate is therefore, a confirmation that arms of the Nigerian government are working in the overall interest of national development.

Ambassadors are important in world affairs.

They represent and protect the interest and nationals of their states. They also initiate and facilitate strategic agreements ,treaties,conventions,promote information, trade and commerce, technology, friendly relations etc.Their negotiation skills and expertise are therefore significant in  meeting these functions.

Having been confirmed as Ambassadors,the next thing is posting to their respective states. By their confirmation, Lt. Gen TY Buratai (rtd) and others have passed the test as unblemish in character and therefore fit to serve as heads of our foreign missions. 

It’s instructive to note that these Nigerians have been called from highly professional backgrounds for this important assignment. We are optimistic that they will  deploy their wealth of knowledge and  experience to bear on their new ssignments 

We therefore call on the federal government to ensure that our diplomats are deployed to countries where their impact will be most felt. This can be done by  taking advantage of their background to decide which country each is posted to.

For instance, our immediate past service chiefs can be deployed to such countries where their military background becomes handy in negotiating military pacts  on behalf of our country more so that our dear country is passing through security challenges. As service chiefs,their involvement in the nation’s defence system must have placed them in a strategic position to further improve  our security architecture.

In view of their background, we are tempted to conclude that posting them to countries with  the needed military technology relevant to our  current security situation in the country will help improve military cooperation between the two countries.

This is why we passionately appeal that the background of the Ambassadors be used as a yardstick for their posting .This way,we will feel the impact of their representation.

Once again, we commend  the  Senate for performing this important assignment of their confirmation .

We also most humbly commend President Buhari for finding them worthy to serve as our representatives abroad .

Thanks and God bless you.

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Ambassadors Designate: Sowore Suffering From Failed Revolution Hangover – NICreL

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The New Initiative for Credible Leadership (NICreL) says Omoyele Sowore’s attempt to incite Nigerians in the diaspora against the ambassadors designate shows that he is yet to recover from his failed insurrection bid.

The group, in a statement on Wednesday, said the former presidential aspirant is suffering from a waned revolution hangover, one that has impaired his capacity to process ideas, thoughts, utterances and actions expected of right-thinking members of the society.

According to the statement signed by its Executive Director, Rev Steven Onwu, the NICreL urged Nigerians in the Diaspora to ignore Sowore, whom it noted, is goading them to possibly violate the laws in their countries of domicile while he shuttles between New York and Nigeria extorting high ranking persons through blackmail.

The group further cautioned Nigerians abroad to avoid anything that would lead to their repatriation to Nigeria and eventually become hirelings and rented protesters for Sowore’s failed revolution.

While describing the former service heads as worthy ambassadors who served the nation meritoriously as military chiefs, the group urged Nigerians to actively flag and report Sowore’s inciteful post.

The NICreL, however, advised the RevolutionNow convener to voluntarily commit himself to a mental health facility especially now that mental health issues are gaining better recognition and improving attention in Nigeria.

Read the full statement below:

The New Initiative for Credible Leadership (NICreL) has noted with disgust the attempt by failed revolutionist and pro-terrorists’ activists, Omoyele Sowore to incite Nigerians in the diaspora against the ambassadors designate recently confirmed by the Senate. We recognize that Sowore is suffering from failed revolution hangover, one that has greatly impaired his capacity to process ideas, thoughts, utterances and actions on the basis expected of right-thinking members of the society.

In a new low in Sowore’s rapid descent into the irresponsible, he wrote on his Facebook page that “Dear Nigerians in the Diaspora: If Tukur Buratai or any of the criminal former Buhari service chiefs is (are) sent to your domain anywhere in the world please chase them back to Nigeria in sustained protest! Remember they are only fit to be sent to the ICC in The Hague #BuhariMustGo #OccupyNigeria #RevolutionNow”

Ordinarily, knowing that Sowore is mentally and reality-challenged, efforts should not be dissipated replying to his rabidity against the ambassadors designate, who served the nation meritoriously as military chiefs. However, we are concerned that unwary Nigerians in the diaspora may be misled into heeding his criminal incitement, which would ultimately lead to such hapless persons being arrested for acting in the manner Sowore suggested and they will then be prosecuted, convicted, serve jail terms before being repatriated to Nigeria while the subjects of their misdirected anger continue to excel in their new roles.

Nigerians in the diaspora should note that Sowore is goading to possibly violate the laws in their countries of domicile while he shuttles between New York and Nigeria extorting high ranking persons through blackmail. Those in the diaspora would want to check the extant rules in their locations so that they will not be repatriated to Nigeria to become hirelings and rented protesters for Sowore’s failed revolution.

This common tout appears desperate in his bid to make other Nigerians into depressed persons as he has become after his serial attempts to overthrow the government of the day through mob action have failed repeatedly. He lost at the poll, his personae tainted the #OccupyNigeria movement, his devious nature truncated his #RevolutionNow movement and even protesters of under #EndSARS chased him away from their protests in Abuja because they know that he stains anything he touches with rot. So rotten is this entity that answers are yet to be found for what to his party’s campaign money in the 2019 Presidential Election he took part in.

NICreL is pleased to note that some of the comments on his inciteful post called him out as someone desperate to destroy Nigeria for reasons known to only him. We urge those who see through his evil plans to actively flag and report his posts as inciting violence so that Facebook and other social media platforms can treat those poisonous posts according to their community standards, which do not tolerate bad behaviour.

On the offline side, Nigerians must begin to educate each other on how there is nothing democratic about a Sowore, who refuses to acknowledge that the Senate exercised the powers bestowed on it by the Nigerian 1999 Constitution (as amended). It is tragic that this maniac once, even as a comedian, aspired to the highest position in the land. The disdain he has shown for the National Assembly and his total lack of decorum for diplomatic relations is confirmation that the 38,000 plus people who voted for him in 2019 should be held in asylums because they must constitute a risk to the country to see anything worth redeeming in Sowore.

We urge Sowore, for whatever it worth, that it is time he gives serious thoughts to voluntarily committing himself to a mental health facility especially now that mental health issues are gaining better recognition and improving attention in Nigeria.

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Insecurity: Calls for Buhari’s resignation terrorists’ propaganda – Pro- Democracy group

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A Pro- Democracy group has described as a terrorists’ propaganda the calls in some quarters for the resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari over the state of insecurity in the nation.

The National Democratic Front (NDF), said the calls by some few individuals were apparently sponsored by terrorists, who are hell bent on making Nigeria ungovernable.

Recall that a coalition comprising 43 frontline civil society organisations and Femi Falana’s law firm have asked President Muhammadu Buhari to resign or be removed from office by the National Assembly if he cannot address the persistent insecurity in the country.

According to them, through the balancing, it will be demonstrated “that every part of Nigeria matters as sectional appointments appear to fuel sectional violence.”

Reacting, however, NDF in a statement by its Director, Paul Aliyu, said it has uncovered of a by some coalitions to facilitate further degeneration of the security situation in the country, which they will then use to launch a “Buhari Must Go” protest across the nation

The group, therefore, called on Nigerians and the international community to hold every single group and individual in the coalition responsible for any resulting degeneration in the security situation in the land.
Full text of the statement below.

Gentlemen of the press, you are aware that a coalition made of 43 groups has come out to demand that President Muhammadu Buhari steps down or be impeached by the National Assembly if he does not meet their five-point demand. The basis for this seditious demand is the security breaches in the country, which these groups are claiming that the president has not done anything about.

Without meaning top promote the propaganda that these elements have deployed against the nation, we will repeat their demands here just so we are able to specifically speak to them:

Provide political and moral leadership for the security crisis and ensure governmental actions are humane in tandem with Section 17 (2) ( C ) of the Constitution;
End impunity for abuse of power and sectionalism through his appointments by balancing the need for competence with the federal character principle. In this way, he will demonstrate that every part of Nigeria matters as sectional appointments appear to fuel sectional violence;

Take responsibility and end the persecution of the media and free speech both of which are foundations of a democratic state.
Mobilize our rich Nigerian assets to address the insecurity situation across the country and seek international cooperation to ramp up security assets.
Where the President fails to fulfil his constitutional duties as stated above, we demand he steps aside or the National Assembly initiates impeachment proceedings against him on grounds of gross misconduct as provided for in Section 143 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Before proceeding to speak on these demands, we will first speak on the identify of those making them so that Nigerians can appreciate that they are being taken for a ride by a criminal gang that has remained dissatisfied from the moment their sources of slush and illicit funds were obstructed by the reforms birthed by President Muhammadu Buhari. The collation is an assortment of groups with several interests that have been packaged to appear as being in the best interest of Nigerians but in reality are a danger to the entire country:

The coalition is apparently led in part by Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), whose head, Auwal Musa (Rafsanjani) is a board member of Amnesty International and Transparency International – two organizations that are obsessed with confirming Nigeria as a failed state. These are organizations that have invested much in supporting Boko Haram and just any terrorist organization. That can help create a sense of terror and insecurity. It is now apparent that the entire support that Amnesty International and Transparency International has been offering to terrorists was meant to culminate in their Nigeria asset, Rafsanjani, leading a charge to overthrow the government of President Buhari through a coup by the legislature, which he has infiltrated with CISLAC that has been gathering blackmail materials on federal lawmakers.

Socio-Economic Right and Accountability Project (SERAP) is another of the NGOs that has over the past few years invested a lot of resources to de-market the government of the day by constantly raising false alarms based on unsubstantiated claims. Its strategy has been to distract the government from functioning using spurious litigation and court cases that have never been pursued to conclusion. What has become apparent now is that these series of court cases were intended to incapacitate the government so that the resulting inaction can be held against Mr. President.

Alliance for Credible Elections (ACE) and Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth & Advancement (YIAGA) are NGO wings of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), which has continued to smart from the serial election losses that it suffered in the hands of the All Progressives Congress (APC) that produced President Buhari. It is understandable that these NGOs are now trying to get through a coup what their client could not win in free and fair elections.
BudgiT Foundation, another signatory to the illicit demands, should have been upfront in declaring that its cofounder, Oluseun Onigbinde, takes instructions from the arch-nemesis of the Buhari government, Oby Ezekwesili. It is another organization that has persistently seen no good in the government especially since Onigbinde discovered that he was not suitable for public office on account of his anti-Nigeria stance canvassed on his social media handles. It is no surprise that organizations like his were quick to jump on the impeach-Buhari wagon.
There is of course the terrorists-supporting Femi Falana Chamber, which has consistently been championing the course of groups that have been declared as terrorists. The legal defence so afforded to these group had made it possible for them to contribute to the lingering insecurity in the land. These are groups that are deployed to distract law enforcement of the military from focusing on major threats to the country.

The situation they created is now being used as justification to demand for President Buhari’s removal.
Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth, Nigeria is a fanatical Niger-Delta front that hides under environmental issues to pursue separatist agenda. The list is replete with other groups that are closet separatists, whose interest is in exploiting the prevailing situation to provoke the emergence of micro-nations from Nigeria. Such groups are on the ride to achieve the separatist goals of their main body.

While we are surprised that the media attack dog for this coalition did not make the list of signatories, the presence of Media Rights Agenda (MRA) and Women In Media on the list is an alarm bell. It shows that these anti-Nigeria elements have infiltrated and possibly compromised the objectivity expected from the media. It speaks to the serial negative reporting that has been deployed against President Buhari with the implication that a lot of what we have been reading about the government is a reflection of what the anti-government coalition wants Nigerians and the world to perceive and not the reality.

From this snapshot of the collation that is seeking to further compromise Nigeria worse than it already did, it is apparent that their demand number 1, that President Buhari should “Provide political and moral leadership for the security crisis and ensure governmental actions are humane in tandem with Section 17 (2) ( C ) of the Constitution” is one that they are already working against. They have been persistent in distracting President Buhari in performing this very task and some of them actively sabotage whatever the country has achieved in this regard.

The second demand that Mr. President should “End impunity for abuse of power and sectionalism through his appointments by balancing the need for competence with the federal character principle. In this way, he will demonstrate that every part of Nigeria matters as sectional appointments appear to fuel sectional violence,” is a sad one. It confirms that the collation is singing from the hymn book of separatists who have been intolerant of other ethnic nationality. It is a demand that is meant to justify the drumbeats of war that have been coming from separatists. It is sad that a collation that is lying about looking out for Nigeria’s interest can be pitching citizens against each other on the basis of political appointments. This is a diss of the efforts of Mr. President in helping on daily basis to restore normalcy to the country.

The recent change of the security chiefs is a sign of a new strategy even though they will build on what the immediate chiefs have achieved. We therefore need to give the new services chiefs the needed time to study the situation and come up with their own strategy.

The collation further demanded that the president should “Take responsibility and end the persecution of the media and free speech both of which are foundations of a democratic state.” Unfortunately, this is the one place that collation has been unfair to Nigerians in that they are asking for a licence to act irresponsibly without consequences. They want a situation where some people, hiding under the media, can incite violence without being held accountable for their actions. They want extant legislation that govern responsible behaviour in information dissemination to be discarded so that they will be at liberty to deploy toxic propaganda to destabilise the Nigerian state.

While this group is asking for the president to “Mobilize our rich Nigerian assets to address the insecurity situation across the country and seek international cooperation to ramp up security assets,” they are doing the exact opposite in contributing to precipitate the security situation in the country. Mr President has been working hard to address the security situation while it is apparent that some people are out to jeopardise his efforts. Nigerians had been wondering who these people are, which makes it a good thing that this coalition has exposed itself as part of those that have been undermining the country’s security for their own selfish end.

Consequently, the collation’s demand that “Where the President fails to fulfil his constitutional duties as stated above, we demand he steps aside or the National Assembly initiates impeachment proceedings against him on grounds of gross misconduct as provided for in Section 143 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” is one that Nigerians should hold them accountable for. It is a subtle threat and an exposure of their plan to overthrow the government in any way possible.

The National Democratic Front (NDF) hereby alerts Nigerians to the uncovering of the plot by the coalition to facilitate further degeneration of the security situation in the country, which they will then use to launch a “Buhari Must Go” protest across the nation. We want Nigerians and the international community to hold every single group and individual in the coalition responsible for any resulting degeneration in the security situation in the land. We ask the law enforcement agencies to be at alert, especially with the discovery that the collation is reportedly working on multiple options for distablizing the country further in order to force the president out of office. This is a dangerous threat to our democracy and must not be allowed to evolve.

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