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Army ‘Pull Out’ Of Troubled Niger Delta, Ends ‘Crocodile Smile Operation’



The Nigeria Army has withdrawn personnel under going ‘Operations Crocodile Smile’ from the crisis torn Niger Delta region.

The withdrawal followed the end of ‘Crocodile Smile Operation’ in Southern Nigeria in line with the Nigerian Army Training Directives 2017.

Col. Aminu Iliyasu , Deputy Director Army Public Relations said that the operation was brought to an end by Minister of Defence, Mansur Muhammad Dan-Ali at official closing ceremony held at the 6 Division Step Up Headquarters in Igwuruta, Ikwerre LGA of Rivers State on 30th October 2017. 


While it lasted, the exercise recorded huge successes with special forces tackling cases of illegal oil bunkering, kidnapping, cultism across the Areas of Responsibility (AOR) of 2, 6, 81 and 82 Divisions of the Nigerian Army covering parts of South-West, South-East and South-South geo-political zones of the country.

Col Iliyasu said that during the exercise, a total of 49 suspects were arrested in 19 separate incidences on various offences ranging from cultism related activities, illegal oil bunkering, illegal possession of arms, narcotic activities, financing criminalities and kidnapping among others. 

All arrested suspects and exhibits were handed over to relevant security agencies for possible prosecution, he added.


Giving a graphic details of the exercise, Col Iliyasu said that during the exercise, a total of 46 illegal oil bunkering camps were discovered across Bayelsa, Rivers and Akwa Ibom States. 

“The vigilant troops were able to locate and destroy all the illegal refining camps as well as Cotonou boats and wooden barges loaded with stolen crude and other illegally refined products.

“The troops also destroyed illegal oil dump sites, arrested vehicles involved in transportation of illegal products as well as persons found to be complacent in the perpetration of such illegal activities”.


Continuing, he disclosed that a total of 13 cases were recorded across the AOR of the Division in which suspects were arrested and in most cases firearms and other dangerous weapons were recovered.

He also disclosed that the reinvigorated Anti-Kidnapping Squad of the Division which works round the clock succeeded in busting 9 kidnap syndicates during the period under review with significant arrests that led to useful information about criminal hide-outs, modus operandi and sources of weapons for their heinous acts.

Specifically, the exercise, he said, despite the callous and mindless propagandists attempt to mislead the public about the free medical outreach, troops were able to carry out free educational outreaches and other community relations activities.


He said that 6 Division Nigerian Army was able to countered the narrative by going ahead to launch the free medical outreach at Igbo-Etche and Elele communities of  Rivers State, Obama and Ozagbene communities in Bayelsa State.

He said that the exercise recorded 10, 000 beneficiaries across the Division’s AOR while 16 Brigade, one of the Division’s subordinate formations made a huge donation of medical and healthcare materials to the Federal Medical Center Yenagoa, Bayelsa state.

The army spokesman also said that some of the troops of 6 Division were equally at hand to offer community services by conducting sanitation exercises at Elele, Igbo-Etche and Mile 3 in Rivers State, Opolo round about and Elebele Road in Yenagoa.


“Most historic among these activities was the face lift given to the location of the first ever oil well in Nigeria designated Oloibiri Oil Well 1 at Oloibiri Bayelsa State by 16 Brigade.

“It is worthy to note that troops of 16 Brigade also assisted the return of 176 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) among them women and children who had been displaced from their homes at Premabiri in Bayelsa State since 2015 due to crisis that engulfed the area”.