From left: Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai; Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike and Deputy Governor, Dr Mrs. Ipalibo Harry Banigo after the General Buratai visit to Government House, Port Harcourt yesterday. Photo: Govt. House.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Tukur Buratia has flagged off a military operation tagged ‘operation crocodile smile’ in Port Harcourt, Rivers State with a call on militants in the region to speak with one voice and embrace the present dialogue proposed by the federal government.

The Army Chief also presided over a stakeholders meeting on combating pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft in the Niger Delta saying the top Army Command was in Rivers State to find solution to vandalization of oil pipelines in the region.

He said the ‘operation crocodile smile’ is aimed at training military personnel on combat readiness as it concerns weapon handling, personnel skill on emergency situations as well as providing medical outreach to residents of the state.

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike declared support for the operation saying the state government will do everything to ensure peace and security in the Niger Delta.

He said: “The Rivers state government is fully in support of the operation. I was fully briefed by the Brigade Commander and we associate ourselves with the programme because it will make the Niger Delta safer. One of the advantages of the operation is that hoodlums in the creeks are being uprooted for a safer Niger Delta. I support the programme insofar as it is done within the constitution”.

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