The Nigerian Army has announced plans to launch Exercise Crocodile Smile VI, saying it is part of its effort to enhance the safety and security of the country as the year draws to an end.
The announcement was made in a statement issued by Sagir Musa, the acting Director of Army Public Relations, on Saturday.
According to the statement, the exercise will take place from 20 October to 31 December.
However, the launch of the exercise comes at a time when a large number of Nigerians are participating in the #EndSARS protests, which is calling for the scrapping of the now-defunct Federal Anti Special Robbery Squad (F-SARS) init of the Nigeria Police Force, as well as an end to police brutality and human rights violation
Following the disbandment of F-SARS, the protesters are now demanding a holistic reform of the police force.
Speaking on the military exercise, the army said it is traditionally scheduled in the last quarter of every year to checkmate all forms of crimes and criminality as the end of the year approaches.
The military service explained that this year’s exercise was intended to be more all-encompassing to include cyber warfare exercises designed to identify, track, and counter negative propaganda in the social media and across the cyberspace.
The statement read: “The Nigerian Army is set to start its annual Exercise CROCODILE SMILE which is traditionally conducted in the last quarter of the year. This year’s Exercise CROCODILE SMILE VI is scheduled to commence from the 20th of October to the 31st of December 2020.
“The Exercise is deliberately intended to be all-encompassing to include cyber warfare exercises designed to identify, track, and counter negative propaganda in the social media and across the cyberspace. This is the first-ever Cyberwarfare exercise to be conducted in the history of the African Armed Forces.
“Accordingly, the exercise will also include positive identification component aimed at identifying Boko Haram terrorists fleeing from the North East and other parts of the country as a result of the ongoing operations in the various theatres of operations especially in the Northeast, North Central and North Western parts of Nigeria.
“The Nigerian Army, once again, reassures all well-meaning Nigerians of its commitment to the sustenance of peace and security in Nigeria and urges members of the public for their support and understanding throughout the period of the exercise.”