The joint military operation tagged: “Operation Crocodile Smile” has reduced incidents of kidnapping, militancy and armed robbery in Cross River.
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen Tukur Burutai, stated this on Thursday at the ground-breaking ceremony of the Nigerian Army Post Housing Scheme at Adiabo community in the state.
NAN reports that the project that is located in Odukpani Local Government Area of the state, is a collaboration between the Nigerian Army and the state Ministry of New Cities Development.
Buratai said that the Nigerian Army was committed to reducing all forms of illegality through its determination to smoke out criminals from their hideouts.
“It is my happiness that the launch of the operation crocodile smile has reduced cases of kidnapping, militancy, oil theft, armed robbery and others.
“I urge you all to support the Army by providing useful and timely information that would lead to the arrest of suspected criminals around you,’’ he said.
He said the housing estate when completed, would cushion the housing deficit for retired army personnel.
“The Nigerian Army is committed to providing accommodation for its retired personnel. I must thank Gov. Ben Ayade for allocating 130 hectares of land in a choice area for this project.
“I also commend the Commissioner for New Cities Development, Mr George Ekpungu, for working closely with the Army in achieving this purpose,’’ he said.
In his remarks, Gov. Ayade lauded the COAS for his prompt response at the peak of security challenges in the state.
“The Operation Crocodile Smile came at a time when we needed heavy military presence in the state. I must thank the COAS for his prompt response to our call,’’ he said.
The governor urged the COAS to complement the green nature of the state by planting trees that would beautify the housing estate.