The Nigerian Army has been assured of continued support from the administration of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State as it engaged in intensive security duties in the state.
Sanwo-Olu made this known on Tuesday during the flag-off of Exercise Crocodile Smile IV by 81 Division of the Nigerian Army held at Takwa Bay, Lagos.
Represented by his deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, Sanwo-Olu commended the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, for his thoughtfulness and strategic foresight in conducting Exercise Crocodile Smile IV ahead of the Yuletide.
He said that the idea was geared towards ensuring peace and security within the South-West and South-South region during the festive period.
“From antecedents, the security issues prevalent within the Yuletide are not lost on any of us as criminal elements move to amass wealth through underhanded means during the period,” he said.
He said that Exercise Crocodile Smile IV was a welcome development that promised to ensure that criminal elements had no safe haven within the period.
“I commend the army for their resilience and determination towards providing security in Lagos and other states across the country including the Federal Capital Territory,” Sanwo-Olu said.
While seeking support for security operatives, the governor alluded to the need for citizens to be security conscious.
“They should notice what is going on in their environment and adopt the popular saying of ‘see something and say something’.
“If you see something wrong make sure you act.
“The police and other security personnel are not magicians, they do not look at oracle, they listen to information.
“It is for all of us to conduct ourselves and just be our neighbour’s keeper,” he said.
Commenting on the clean-up of the beaches as part of efforts to boost tourism, the governor urged citizens to own the beaches and treat them as their homestead by properly disposing their plastics and wastes.
Earlier in his remarks, Buratai, represented by Major-General John Irefin, GOC 81 Division, Nigerian Army, said that Exercise Crocodile Smile IV was part of the Army’s continuous commitment to combating security challenges in the country.
He added that the exercise would reduce to the barest minimum the prevailing security threat in the riverine environment such as illegal oil bunkering, militancy, kidnapping, pipeline vandalism, cultism and other common sundry crimes.
Buratai said that the exercise, aimed at sharpening the professional skills of security personnel, would be intelligence-driven and portray real-time operation.
“This will be in line with the military’s constitutional role of conducting internal security operation to aid civil authority,” the COAS said.
He said that it would also provide a good opportunity for collaboration with other services and relevant security agencies in order to strengthen greater inter-agency cooperation in combating crime and criminality in the country.