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Soldiers, youths may clash as army rolls out Crocodile Smile Tuesday

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The stage may be set for another showdown between the youth and security agents, this time round with the military, as the Nigerian Army has announced its intention to launch Exercise Crocodile Smile IV on Tuesday.

A statement signed by the Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Col. Sagir Musa, which was made available to journalists on Saturday, said the operation would commence from the 20th of October to the 31st of December 2020.

This is coming when youths protesting in many parts of the country against police brutality and demanding an end to all forms of injustice in the last two weeks are yet to be pacified to stop the street demonstration and blocking of vital roads and operational areas.

There were hints last week that the military might be called upon to halt the street protests which had been causing hours of gridlock and disruption to socio-economic activities in Lagos, Abuja and other major cities in the country.

The statement said, “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 V1 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 exercise 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 North-East, 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.”

But a former senator and rights activist, Shehu Sani, said it was a dangerous coincidence that the Army’s operation would be staged when the youth were still protesting.

A group of civil societies, in a reaction to the issue, has also warned against drafting in the soldiers to quell the peaceful protests by the youth.

The group made up of 16 societies said in a statement released in Abuja on Saturday that such action posed a serious threat to the peace of the society.

The coalition said, “We reject in its entirety the move to draft in the military to quell the protests, even where there has been no violent conduct on the part of protesters.

“The military should remain in their barracks and at their duty posts, defending the territorial integrity of the country, and not deployed in a dangerous anti-people and anti-democratic operation to crush a people who are exercising their right to freedom of association, freedom of expression, and freedom of assembly.”

Those that are part of the group are listed as the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD-West Africa), Enough is Enough (EIE), Partners for Electoral Reform, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), YIAGA Africa, Global Rights, among others.

Sani, in a tweet, warned that “the Army should not intervene to crush peaceful protesters,” adding that “we have enough bandits and insurgents in our forests and deserts that need their attention.”

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Flaunting wealth in public a serious security risk, DSS official warns

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An official of the Department of State Services (DSS) has warned that the public display of wealth constitutes a great security risk.

Paul Oduh, the deputy director, security enforcement, DSS Kwara command, gave the warning on Friday in Ilorin, capital of the state.

 

He said the deliberate exhibition of affluence and a flamboyant lifestyle attract kidnappers, bandits, and other criminals.

 

The comment comes in the wake of the extravagant display at the much talked about funeral of the mother of Obinna Iyiegbu, the nightlife promoter popularly known as Obi Cubana.

The DSS deputy director said given the security challenges in the country, Nigerians should avoid showing off in public.

 

“People must adopt moderate lifestyles, so as not to fall prey to these criminal elements,” Oduh said.

 

Oduh said a boastful attitude and maintaining a “habitual daily routine” can also make people prone to attacks.

“The country is ravaged by insecurity on daily basis. However, people should not despair, security should be concern of all people and they must be enlightened on it,” he said.

 

“Security can never be 100 percent everywhere in the world. People should be knowledgeable enough on those things they can do to protect themselves.

 

“Security denotes free from danger and protection of lives and property where individuals can pursue their lawful activities.

 

“There is need to accept that threats exist and people are targets of these threats. This is why people should put in place measures to safeguard themselves from such threats.”

 

 

 

 

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PHOTOS: Nigeria dazzles in Tokyo Olympic opening parade

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I don’t need your cheques, Buhari tells contractor

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday charged contractors who have enjoyed government patronage as well as other privileged citizens to use their resources to support less privileged members of society.

 

President Buhari gave the charge when he paid a visit to the Emir of Daura, Dr Umar Faruk Umar.

 

He said passing gifts and ‘cheques’ to people in authority or already comfortable to buy favour is not the right approach.

 

According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, President Buhari challenged beneficiaries of government patronage to go to their respective communities and engage in corporate social responsibilities.

 

The President said: “I don’t want your cheque. Go and assist our communities” instead of trying to return kickbacks to public officers, including his office.

 

“We don’t want cheques from anyone or organisation as returns or influence of any kind. Let them remember their Corporate Social Responsibilities,” he said.

 

The President noted he would love to visit Daura more frequently but for the high cost of presidential movements and exposing security personnel to the weather, assuring his heart remains with the people.

“We are known for farming and I have my farm here. I could come every two weeks and no one can stop me.

“But the cost to the movement is high. I would rather that it be used to better our schools, clinics and hospitals,” said the President.

The President said the grace of God had kept Nigeria together as a country in spite of differences that led to a 30-month civil war

 

“We want to thank God always for keeping us together as a country. From January 15, 1966, the country was thrown into political crisis. We had a 30 months civil war that resulted in the loss of about a million lives.

 

“We still thank God for keeping us together. We remain grateful to all those who showed interest in our unity and progress. May God continue to bless them,” he added.

 

The President, who recalled fond memories of visiting the Palace as a military Head of State, expressed happiness that the warmth and hospitality of the traditional institution had been sustained over the years.

 

At the meeting, the Emir publicly announced conferment of the title of Talban Daura on Yusuf Buhari, son of President Buhari.

 

He said a date would be announced for the turbaning ceremony of the President’s son, which might likely be before his marriage.

 

The Emir also announced creation of a District in the community of the President, with headquarters in Dimurkol.

He said the turbaning of younger Buhari and creation of the District was to further extend and deepen the long relationship between the Palace and the family.

 

He said the decision was in agreement with the kingmakers in Daura Emirate Council.

 

During the visit, the Palace used the opportunity to clarify the difference between two titles, Talban Hausa, given to Alpha Conde, the President of Guinea and Talban Daura designated for Yusuf, the President’s son.

 

The Palace explained that Daura, as the linchpin of the Hausa society had conferred titles that have bearing on the Hausa Kingdom and those that are specific to the Emirate.

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