By Philip Nwosu
No fewer than 399 suspected criminals were arrested within the Lagos and Ogun state axis in the two weeks of the launch of Exercise Crocodile Smile 2 in the area.
The revelation was made by Brigadier General Basil Adonkie while briefing Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Turkur Buratai on the Exercise, adding that the arrested persons had been handed over to the police, NDLEA and other relevant agencies responsible for their prosecution.
General Adonkie said that during the period of the exercise, criminal activities were adequately contained, while miscreants were denied freedom of action.
He disclosed that 20 assorted weapons, cannabis and other hard drugs valued at N50million were impounded and handed over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
According to Brigade Commander, 700 officers and men participated in the exercise from 81 Division, 350 from 35 brigade, 300 from the Nigeria Police, 150 from the NSCDC, 120 from FRSC and eight from the DSS.
Earlier, the Chief of Army Staff said the exercise was to boost civil-military relations. The Chief of Training and Operations, Major General David Ahmadu, who represented Buratai said during the period, a clinic belonging to the people of Takwa Bay was renovated and handed over to the community. Also a town hall belonging to the people of Ajilete in Ogun State was renovated and equipped for the use of the community. He said that this was aside the free medical outreach launched by the force in its host communities in Lagos and Ogun.
He further explained that the objective of exercise crocodile smile 2 was to sharpen the skills of soldiers in the conduct of operations and therefore urged the soldiers and officers to sustain the tempo of the ongoing military maneuvers such as Operations Mesa and others.
Similarly, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 81 Division, Major General Peter Dauke, said the exercise was to develop and enhance professionalism among units, foster relationship and synergy among security agencies and improve the over all planning and conduct of internal security operations. “Exercise Crocodile Smile 2 was able to mitigate prevalent security challenges such as reduction in pipelines vandals, militancy, ritual killings, smuggling, kidnapping and other related offences,” he added.