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Army to flags off operation Crocodile Smill 2.0

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The Nigerian Army has announced schedule for flagging off of the operation Crocodile Smile on Friday, October 13, 2017 across three Divisions in Southeast Nigeria.

According to the statement realeased by the Defence Headquaters, the exercise is in line with 2017 Training Directives, aimed at “training troops in the conduct of Internal Security Operations”.

The exercise which will capture Divisions 2, 6 and 81, will also seek to train the troops in area of Civil Authorities across formations’ areas of responsibilities, based on Constitutional provisions.

The statement released by Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka Usman, Director Army Public Relations, further reads: “It will be recalled that last year, between November and December 2016, Exercise CROCODILE SMILE I was conducted within the Niger Delta States to curtail prevailing security challenges then.

“These challenges include illegal oil bunkering, pipeline vandalism, kidnapping and militancy amongst others. Exercise CROCODILE SMILE II is specifically designed to further the gains and consolidate on the successes of Exercise CROCODILE SMILE I.

“Additionally, with the operationalization of 6 Division Nigerian Army, earlier in the year, the need to exercise troops in an amphibious environment makes it expedient to hold Exercise CROCODILE SMILE II. Moreover, this exercise will complement the on-going Exercise EGWU EKE II in the South-Eastern part of the country.

“Let us not be quick to forget the scenario in which these exercises are carried out. EGWU EKE II became expedient due to the mindless assassinations (even in religious places), attack on security personnel, theft of weapons, armed banditry, kidnapping and cultism, among other security challenges. In a similar vein, security challenges in the South West and Niger Delta geo-political regions such as illegal oil bunkering, pipeline vandalism, cultism, kidnapping, militancy and other challenges are becoming rampant.

“The need for troops to sharpen their skills to cope with these security challenges within the 2, 6 and 81 Divisions’ Area of Responsibilities calls for the conduct of Exercise CROCODILE SMILE II. Also, in actualizing the Chief of Army Staff’s vision, which is to ‘To have a Professionally Responsive Nigerian Army in the Discharge of its Constitutional Roles’, accentuates the call for the conduct of this exercise in conjunction with sister services and other security agencies. This exercise will therefore be conducted with the involvement of other security agencies such as the Nigerian Police and Nigeria Security, Department of State Services, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Nigeria Customs Service and National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, just to mention a few.

“EXERCISE CROCODILE SMILE II is also conceptualized to leverage on real time intelligence to curtail insecurity, thereby fulfilling both training and operational objectives. Accordingly, Exercise Headquarters would be established in the field to facilitate open communication between members of the public and exercising troops. Emphasis will be placed on raids, cordon and search operations, anti-kidnapping drills, road blocks, check points and other amphibious operations. Community support activities such as medical outreaches will also feature prominently during the Exercise.

“In this regard, members of the public are enjoined not to panic on seeing the movement of military equipment and troops to staging areas as their safety and well-being is guaranteed at all times. The public is also requested to remain vigilant, security conscious and report suspected criminals who will likely flee the military exercise areas to find safe haven among communities. Contact phone numbers of all Brigade Commanders in the exercise areas would be made public in addition to the Nigerian Army short code Information and call Centre 193.

“You are please requested to disseminate this information to the public through your medium.”

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Governors have no business with removal of fuel subsidy, says Fayemi

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Kayode Fayemi, chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, stated on Thursday that state governors had no say in whether or not to keep the fuel subsidy.

During a news conference following a meeting of the Governors, Mr Fayemi made the remark.

The group “concluded to engage the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress on how best to address this issue without causing any dissension but with a view to recovering the Nigerian economy for the Nigerian people,” according to the Ekiti State Governor.

However, he argued that the decision wasn’t one for the Governors to make.

“For us at the forum, it is a matter that is a going concern. We don’t have a definite issue on it because it is left to the Petroleum Industry Act. It is not for us. NNPC is now a private company and the company should decide what it wants to do with the price of its products. It shouldn’t really be the business of Governors.

“It is not up to sub-nationals to decide on what happens to PMS pricing. It is an entirely exclusive responsibility of the Federal Government.

“However, we are critical stakeholders and we are members of the National Economic Council, so we contribute to debates in the Council.”

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Fuel subsidy removal will cause more hardship for Nigerians, says Abdulsalami

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Former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd.) has warned that the proposed fuel subsidy removal will cause further harm to Nigerians.

Abdulsalami spoke on Thursday at the 19th Daily Trust Summit in Abuja, pointing out that the country is already facing challenges on multiple fronts.

The Buhari administration has made public its plan to stop the payment of fuel subsidy by June 2022.

However, many stakeholders, including the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, feel the move is insensitive and wrongly timed as the citizens are already going through untold hardship.

“Unemployment or underemployment remain at record levels,” General Abdulsalami said, adding “and over 80 million Nigerians are still caught up in needless poverty.

“All of these tend to have negative effects on security.

“In fact, Nigeria now faces a food security crisis that is compounded by the COVID-19 global pandemic and the banditry in many States in Northern Nigeria.

“All of these have disrupted the fragile value chains across the country, and negatively impacted the ability of Nigerians to produce, process and distribute food.

“The result is a continued rise in the prices of food items, beyond the reach of many Nigerian families.

“On top of all these, fuel prices are expected to rise significantly in the coming months as announced last November by the NNPC.

“We all know when this happens, as the government has planned, it will push many millions deeper into poverty.”

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Photos from Alao Akala’s candle night

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Hundreds of residents of Ogbomoso in Oyo State, on Wednesday, organized a candle night procession in honour of a former governor of the State, Chief Christopher Adebayo Alao-Akala.

Alao-Akala is an indigene of Ogbomoso, the second largest city in the State. The former police officer died in the early hours of Wednesday, 12th January, 2022.

He was the governor of the State between 2007 and 2011.

To pay their last respect for the former governor, youths, women and men in their hundreds organized a candle night procession in honor of the former governor.

The event attracted friends, family and supporters of the late politician.

The procession, which started around 4.pm, took off from Alao-Akala’s residence.

It moved through Takie, Sabo, LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Orita Naira, Oja’gbo, Ijeru, Arowomole, Oja Akande and Seminary.

All the participants wore black attires.

They described the former Governor as someone whose legacies cannot be forgotten in a hurry.

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