Delta State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa has sued for the cooperation of Nigerians with Nigerian Army to quell insurgency in the country.
Speaking when the Chief of Army Staff, General Yusuf Burutai paid him a courtesy visit in Asaba at the weekend, Governor Okowa said the action of the military in checking the activities of the insurgents at the North-East was remarkable, stating that there was the need for all Nigerians to live in peace and unity.
According to the Governor, “there is the need for the civilian population and other security agencies to work with the Nigerian Army to succeed in their activities to secure the country, I want to reassure you of the support of the government and people of Delta State to work closely with you to secure our nation.”
He described the sensitization of the people in the creeks of Delta State of the planned military exercise, codenamed, ‘Operation Crocodile Smile’ as an action which will reduce panic as a result of the heavy presence of the military and their activities in the area.
“We are glad that your men will be cautious in the course of their military exercise to avoid civilian casualties,” the governor said, adding, “as a state, we will continue to cooperate with security operatives to secure the lives and property of the people, especially, national assets.”
He disclosed that security threats in the Niger Delta region has affected negatively, financial situation of the state, asserting, “the financial impact is more on our state than any other state in the country and our environment is being impacted on negatively.”
“I believe that by the grace of God in the next few weeks, everything will be normal, it is our hope that we will get back to those days we can predict the quantum of oil we will produce,” the governor stated.
Earlier, General Burutai who was accompanied by top military officers had told the governor that he was in the state to flag off a military exercise, codenamed “operation Crocodile Smile” which is amphibious in nature.
“I am happy to flag off one of the major exercises of the Nigerian Army in fulfilment of our training directives to keep our men properly trained,” he said, adding, “the training exercise, as well as humanitarian exercise is to put us in proper shape, there is no cause for alarm, we are not going to hurt anybody, the troop will exercise with caution and I will call on the people to go about their normal duties.”