The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai on Wednesday, October 26, 2017 visited Ikorodu, Lagos State to monitor the ongoing operation Crocodile Smile, a military exercise at the Sector 3 Tactical Headquarters in Isawo, Ikorodu Lagos State.
Buratai while commending men and officers of the Nigerian Army at the Sector 3 urged them to remain committed in the discharge of their duties so as to ensure peace and stability in the country.
He urged them also to remain proactive in the discharge of their duties and assured the officers and men that the government would continue to make their welfare a priority.
“I am happy to see that you all are in high spirit and that is what is required. Your Sector Commander has briefed me on what you have been doing and all the achievements you have made so far. I congratulate you for a job well done. You must maintain the momentum and be reminded that it is a training exercise and I believe that both the officers and soldiers have learnt and I expect you to put to practice whatever you have learnt when you are deployed for any formal operations.
“Those of you that will be attending several courses especially the officers and indeed you soldiers, NCOs and senior NCOs have a lot to contribute when you go for your various courses because it will improve you further. On this note, I say congratulations once again and we are very much aware of the challenges but we are equally working hard to ensure that these challenges are resolved. You must remain focused, dedicated and resilient in order to consolidate on the achievements so far recorded.” He said.
The launch, the Chief of Army Staff said, was necessitated to curb crimes in the coastal areas of the state.
According to him, the ‘order of battle’ 2016 provides for amphibious battalion on the island to keep the coastal areas of Lagos State safe. He said troops degraded activities of militants and illegal oil bunkering, destruction of kidnappers’ dens and rescue of kidnapped victims, destruction of cultists’ camps, among others.
Meanwhile, The Chief of Army Staff earlier visited the palace of the Ayangbure of Ikorodu, HRH Kabiru Adewale Shotobi to pay homage. All traditional rulers in Ikorodu area, Chiefs, and stakeholders were on hand to welcome the Chief of Army Staff.
Oba Kabiru Adewale Shotobi, while welcoming the Chief of Army Staff on behalf of the Ikorodu people thanked the chief for checking in on them. He explained to his people that Crocodile Smile is not an operation but an exercise of the Military and promised that the community will continue to work hand in hand with the military for peace to reign in the community, the state and the nation as a whole.
“I saw all that the military has put in place to maintain peace in our communities all over the state during the launch of Crocodile Smile at Aqua bay. Mind you, Crocodile Smile is an exercise and not an operation.” Kabiyesi said.
He rounded off by asking that the military construct a Military Hospital in Ikorodu so that the community can also benefit from them. “When I was invited to Aqua Bay and saw the impact of the Military in that area, I came home to inform my people and we have also come to an agreement and we are ready to donate 10 hectares of land to the military for the construction of a military hospital in the Isawo area of Ikorodu,” Ayangbure stated further.
In his response, Lieutenant General Buratai appreciated the traditional ruler for honoring him and his entire entourage. He pointed out that Ikorodu has always been a peaceful, accommodating and business oriented community but for the security challenges that recently found its way in to the community.
“Ikorodu has always been a peaceful town and I appreciate the cordial relationship between Ikorodu people and the military. We are here to introduce the Crocodile Smile 2. It has been a successful exercise as we have witnessed Aqua Bay during the launch and I hope the good people of this community will continue to work with the military for a more secured and peaceful community and nation, thank you very much for their prayers and support,” Buratai stated.
Operation Crocodile Smile was launched at Aqua Bay Island in Lagos State over a month ago with Sector 3 as the headquarters of operations of the 174 Battalion, Ikorodu.