The Nigerian Army on Wednesday identified the Badoo group and other cults as one of the security challenges that Operation Crocodile Smile II would take care of in the South - West.
The Director , Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Sani Usman, who stated this in an interview with one of our correspondents, insisted that the military operations – Egwu Eke II and Crocodile Smile II – like the earlier operations, were not targeted at “any particular ethnic group or group of individuals"
Usman said, “Let me tell you. I made reference to Operation Crocodile Smile, because there is so much mischief and misinformation in respect of Exercise Egwu Eke II. What we are saying is that the exercise is not targeted at any particular ethnic group or a group of persons.
"The army needs to train because in the event of being called upon by the civic authorities , we will know what to do. So, we are looking at large - scale security challenges and we train on those aspects . Last year, we had all these exercises based on the challenges at that time.
"But this year, there are issues associated with criminalities such as Badoo and other cult - related activities. The problems associated with the North - West are different from the South - South or the South - East or a combination of both . The whole idea is that these exercises are routine and some people only blow things out of proportion . But we mean well and we just want to train our troops to be more professional"
But some South West Leaders have condemn the moves, urging the federal to reconsider it's decision.
Pan Yoruba group, Afenifere condemned the planned deployment of troops in the South - South and South - West geopolitical zones , saying there was no basis for it .
The group said it was not the duty of the military to fight crimes, noting that the military authorities should rather deploy their personnel in the North - East where their services were needed .
Pan Niger Delta Forum and the Ijaw Youth Council have also called on the Federal Government to reconsider the deployment of soldiers in the Niger Delta region under the "Operation Crocodile Smile 11" saying that the move could undermine the relative peace in the region.