By Evelyn Usman
THE 81 Division of the Nigerian Army, yesterday, flagged off the Exercise Still Water in Lagos, designed to curtail activities of militants, armed robbers, cultists and other forms of criminality in the state.
To this effect, a 24-hour joint Military patrol will be witnessed in Lagos between October 4, and December 23, 2021.
Flagging off the exercise at the Digital Bridge Institute, Oshodi, the General Officer Commanding, GOC, 81 Division, Maj. Gen. Lawrence Fejokwu, said: “The essence of Exercise Still Water, formerly known as Exercise Crocodile Smile, is to practice what we have been learning in our classrooms. That is why it is an outdoor exercise. It is also a continuation of the joint training with other sister services and other security agencies, in line with the Chief of Army Staff’s vision. It will also serve as a rehearsal on how to tackle criminal elements.
“I want to seize this opportunity to tell members of the public that there will be increased Military movements by day and night. I urge law-abiding citizens to go about their businesses without any fear. All we are trying to do is to work in synergy, carry out rehearsals to be sure of what we want to do so that when we have to conduct raids in the future, condone and search operations, stop and search, all services will be on the same page and we will do it together, the way it should be done because we have rehearsed it and have known what each service ought to do in any given situation.”
Earlier in his welcome address, the Commander, 9 Brigade, Brig. Gen. Lander Saraso said: “As we are all aware, recent intelligence reports revealed an unprecedented wave of criminality that is going on within our environs, with groups such as cult groups, who have taken over some communities within the environs, to perpetuate their criminal acts.
“Despite the efforts of security agencies, these criminal elements have continued to engage in criminal activities such as kidnapping, armed banditry, militancy, armed robbery, cultism and other violent criminalities within the city of Lagos.
“Recently, a senior police officer was killed in the line of duty and another retired Military officer was also kidnapped within Lagos. Thank God he has been rescued.
“Because of these criminal activities and as it is customary in the Nigerian Army, the Brigade was tasked to conduct this exercise to curtail these criminal activities in conjunction with other sister services and security agencies as we approach the yuletide season.”
Besides, he said the participating troops have been briefed and directed to be friendly with law-abiding citizens but to deal ruthlessly with criminal elements terrorizing the society within the ambits of the law.
On the concept of the exercise, Saraso said: “It involves physical deployment of the troops in the field from where these troops are going to be dispatched from time to time to conduct real-time patrols against criminal elements within the environment.”