The 6 Division, Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, says the “Exercise Crocodile Smile 2” operational activities within the Division’s Area of Responsibility (AOR) is achieving result after its flag off.
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, officially flagged off the Operation Crocodile Smile 2 on Oct. 13.
In a statement issued in Port Harcourt on Monday, Col. Aminu Iliyasu, Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, 6 Division said that there was high morale among the troops.
According to him, it is evident that the increased presence of troops both on land and in the waterways dominating the entire 6 Division AOR has started yielding fruits.
“Especially in the area of denying criminal elements such as kidnappers, armed robbers, sea pirates, cultists, illegal oil bunkerers and crude oil thieves as well as other hoodlums freedom of action.
“In 2 Brigade AOR which covers Akwa-Ibom, vigilant troops based on a tip-off by some patriotic Nigerians on 9th October 2017 arrested one Mr Udeme Dick Nnah a notorious cultist, who has been terrorising the community.
“In a similar operation on Oct. 12, troops of 2 Brigade Garrison after careful surveillance arrested the duo of Mr Saviour Friday Marcus and Mr. Nsika Okon Udoh on cult-related activities, he said.
Iliyasu said that on Oct. 10, troops of 2 Brigade Garrison on patrol, accosted a group of vandals at Itu Paper Mill, Uruan LGA, cutting armoured cables belonging to the company.
“Two suspects, Mr Ekom and Mr Ndefrike were arrested with 3 rolls of vandalized cables and 2 motorcycles; and a suspected arms supplier, one Mr Friday Silas Udoh at Ikot Odiong, Ukanafun Local Government Area (LGA).
“Items recovered from Silas residence include live cartridges, locally made guns, gunpowder, damaged single barrel guns and gun making accessories.
“In the same vein, Mr Bishop Akpan believed to be the financier of wanted criminals was arrested at Ikot Ibekwe community of Ukanafun LGA.
“The suspect is volunteering information about gangs of kidnappers and cultists linked to him,” he said.
According to the spokesmen, the troops on a robust patrol to Ikpe community of Etim Ekpo LGA encountered and arrested 3 suspected cult members.
“Items recovered from them include a locally made long barrel gun and one locally made short gun and also carried out raids/destruction of an identified criminal hideout/shrine same LGA where one suspect was arrested.
“The troops also arrested more suspects and recovered more arms at other locations in Etim Ekpo and Ukanafun LGAs of Akwa-Ibom,” he said.
He said that same success story was recorded in Rivers, where troops of 6 Brigade were tightening the noose on criminal elements and economic saboteurs in the state.
“Specifically, on Oct.10, at about 2:00 am, troops of 29 Battalion intercepted a MARK truck loaded with suspected stolen crude oil at Rukpokwu, Obio-Akpor LGA of the state but the suspects abandoned the truck and fled.
“On same day troops of 146 Battalion in conjunction with elements of 130 Battalion discovered and destroyed an illegal refinery with 6 large cooking pots with large container containing illegally refined AGO,” he said.
Iliyasu said that illegal refineries and large quantities of Automated Gas Oil (AGO) in unregistered trucks and kerosene in Gokana, Ogu/Bolo, Okrika, Ahoada-West and Akuku-Toru LGAs were destroyed by 29, 130 and 146 Battalions.
He said that the troops also on credible information arrested two suspected kidnappers in Ahoada-East LGA of Rivers.
According to him, One yellow MAN DIESEL truck with registration number XA 508 DKU GOMBE loaded with about 30,000 litres of illegally refined AGO in a constructed tank and concealed with poultry feed bags were intercepted.
“The troops of Operation Crocodile Smile 2 also recorded success in arresting suspected illegal bunkerers, and destruction of illegal refineries in Eleme, Port Harcourt City LGAs of Rivers and Yenagoa, Bayelsa,”
He said that the troops conducted a Cordon and Search operation at Elebrada and Oduoha communities of Emuoha LGA in Rivers, where it was revealed that members of Icelanders cult group hold meetings.
“No arrest was made but 120 rounds of 7.62mm special, 27 rounds of 9mm para, one clearing rod, one jungle hat, 6 cutlasses and one Canon camera were recovered.
“On same day, troops arrested one notorious kidnapper/armed robber popularly known as Aposi in Ihugbogo community.
“All apprehended suspects and recovered items were handed over to relevant security agencies for possible prosecution while the operation continues,” he said.