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Crocodile Smile: Human Rights Groups Dispel Fear About Nigerian Army’s Efforts to Counter Threats

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The Coalition of Human Rights Monitoring Groups (CHRMG) has assured Nigerians of maximum safety throughout the Nigerian Army’s operation ‘Crocodile Smile’ which it says is targeted at criminals. 

CHRMG’s coordinator, Abubakar Gana, gave this assurance on Monday at a press conference in Abuja ahead of the start of the exercise. 

Gana said the annual operation has no connection with the ongoing #EndSARS protests in the country, contrary to the misconception by “some distractors and tattlers of fake news”. 

In his words, the ‘Crocodile Smile’ is “targeted at the identification of fleeing Boko Haram terrorists from the hot theatre of war in Northeast, but are sneaking into other parts of Nigeria to cause atrocities”. 

He added that the ” exercise has also progressed into the first-ever cyber warfare exercises packaged to identify, track, and counter negative propaganda in social media and in the cyberspace, which is a potent weapon of terrorists in warfare”. 

According to the human rights group, the exercise is an “expression of the Army’s unflagging commitment to the peace and security of Nigeria, which it has always upheld responsively and responsibly, in patriotic flavour in the last five years”. 

Gana assured that troops will continue to respect their fundamental human rights and act professionally as they have always done under Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. TY Buratai. 

He added that “Nigerians can attest that the Nigerian Army’s leadership under Gen. Buratai has zero-tolerance for unprofessional conduct, acts of indiscipline and human rights violations by Army personnel”. 

CHRMG, however, pleaded with Nigerians to discountenance and discard the misinformation and fake news, especially on social media platforms on Exercise Crocodile Smile VI.

Read the full statement below:

The Coalition of Human Rights Monitoring Groups (CHRMG) welcomes the members of the fourth estate of the realm to this press conference. We thank Almighty God for the gift of life and His grace upon our beloved country, Nigeria is facing the multiple challenges of nationhood.

CHRMG finds it imperative to address Nigerians on the Nigerian Army’s conduct of the special edition of Exercise Crocodile Smile VI nationwide set to commence in the next 24 hours. We perceive the exercise as an expression of the Army’s unflagging commitment to the peace and security of Nigeria, which it has always upheld responsively and responsibly, in patriotic flavour in the last five years.

But since the Nigerian Army announced the conduct of Exercise Crocodile Smile VI, slated to commence October 20, 2020, to December 31st, 2020, rumour mongers, detractors and blackmailers have gone out to town with assorted inanities and conjured fals intent on discrediting the timely exercise as we approach the yuletide season as well as instilling fears and panic in Nigerian.

Most laughably, some Nigerians have even linked the Exercise Crocodile Smile VI to the #EndSARS protests in the country and attempted to poison the minds of Nigerians over this yearly routine exercise of the Nigerian Army. But no amount of blackmail and unjustified negative profiling of the Nigerian Army and operations will deter them from performing their constitutional duties.

From our vantage position as watchdogs of the society, CHRMG is assuring Nigerians that it will mobilize monitors and evaluators to observe the conduct of the exercise throughout the country as part of our democratic rights to hold our leaders accountable to us. We shall not blink on this sacred obligation to our compatriots.

But we have no iota of doubt that based on the splendid track records of the Nigerian Army in numerous special assignments on Internal Security (IS) operations, all law-abiding citizens be assured of their maximum protection and safety throughout the exercise, except criminals. We say this confidently and the misgivings about it are misplaced or out of tone with confirmable reality.

The year 2020, a  special version of the Exercise Crocodile Smile VI as disclosed by Army authorities is expansive. Its gamut includes an identification component, targeted at the identification of fleeing Boko Haram terrorists from the hot theatre of war in Northeast, but are sneaking into other parts of Nigeria to cause atrocities. The exercise has also progressed into the first-ever cyber warfare exercises packaged to identify, track, and counter negative propaganda in social media and in the cyberspace, which is a potent weapon of terrorists in warfare.

The detractors mischievously ascribing a novel status and other inordinate reasons for the conduct of the Exercise Crocodile Smile VI are confessed enemies of Nigeria, who seek and pray for the continued destabilization of the country in perpetuity. But Nigerians conversant with the operations of the Nigerian Army under the leadership of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and leader of the counter-insurgency operations, Lt. Gen. TY Buratai knows, the Army has launched both the Nigerian Army Secured Information Platform (NASIP) which is fused into the Nigerian Army Cyber Warfare Command (NACWC) server.  

The NASIP is powered by strong storage capacity. And the commitment of public resources into its upgrade is to fight cyber warfare.  It is the Army’s years of preparedness to confront the hydra-headed monster of Cyberspace terrorism and other allied matters. The Exercise Crocodile Smile VI streams from this background.

Previous such exercises by the Nigerian Army have always conformed to the highest tenets of respect for the fundamental human rights of citizens everywhere in Nigeria.  The Exercise Crocodile Smile VI is no different! It is expected that this special edition of the Exercise Crocodile Smile VI will also adhere strictly to the highest standards of human rights compliance set by the COAS Gen. Buratai.

Nigerians can attest that the Nigerian Army’s leadership under Gen. Buratai has zero-tolerance for unprofessional conduct, acts of indiscipline and human rights violations by Army personnel. In the last five years, the Nigerian Army has remained a stickler to Rules of Engagement (ROE) and strictly observes global best practices in safeguarding the human rights of Nigerians in all its operations.

Therefore, CHRMG is pleading with Nigerians to discountenance and discard the misinformation and fake news, especially on social media platforms on Exercise Crocodile Smile VI.  It is a ploy by armed criminals to frustrate the exercise, hence it is targeted at apprehending them.

We cannot deny that Nigeria is troubled by senseless acts of insecurities almost everywhere in the country. So, every Nigerian genuinely concerned about the peace and security of the nation should welcome Exercise Crocodile Smile VI. Those seeking to divert attention from the authentic agenda and target of the exercise are the criminals and armed gangs tormenting law-abiding citizens with violence and bloodshed.

The Nigerian Army is only concerned with cleansing the land of bad elements to make Nigeria a proud place of inhabitation. Those afraid are the criminals, armed gangs, their conspirators, accomplices and proxies.

It is senseless to put the cart before the horse. The detractors claiming Exercise Crocodile Smile VI is soldier’s witch-hunt of Nigerians and pre-emptying the Army of the likelihood of abusing human rights of citizens may have to reexamine themselves and their conscience.  

As earlier promised, CHRMG’s monitors and evaluators will keep an eagle eye on the conduct of the Exercise Crocodile Smile VI to ensure no extant law is breached or human rights of citizens violated whatsoever. And where it occurs, the group will not hesitate to inform Nigerians and the relevant authorities as well as seek for justice where necessary.  

We wish you journey mercies to your various destinations and may God bless and protect the Nigerian Army, and its leadership for the wisdom of the patriotic duty; may God bless Nigeria. Thank you all.

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COVID-19: Coalition Salutes FG, NPHCDA Overall Early Arrival Of Vaccine

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With the expected arrival of coronavirus vaccines into the country on Tuesday, the National Coalition on Vaccine Awareness and Administration (NCVAA) has applauded the Federal Government and National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).

The group, at a press conference on Monday in Abuja, noted that this is a big step in containing the rampaging contagion that has consumed millions across the world.

Nigeria will become the third West African country to benefit from the COVAX facility after Ghana and the Ivory Coast when it receives 3.92 million doses of the vaccine.

And the convener, Gabriel Agogo, speaking on behalf of the coalition, said Nigeria can not be left alone in the global immunisation against the disease, especially with the conspiracy theories and propaganda being peddled around.

He urged all Nigerians to become agents of this public awareness and actively partake in the immunization to protect ourselves, our families and the public health of the nation.

The NCVAA, however, called on all Nigerians irrespective of partisan, religious and ethnic affiliations to come out en mass to mobilize their families and friends for the Covid-19 vaccine administration as a way of totally defeating the spread of the coronavirus disease and saving humanity from its destruction.

Read the full statement below:

The leadership and members of the National Coalition on Vaccine Awareness and Administration (NCVAA) salutes and welcome all of you to this press conference. We also salute the courage and perseverance of Nigerians in the firm determination to fight Covid-19 to a standstill by observing the Government protocols to curtail its spread. Our case would have been worse, had Nigerians failed to imbibe self-discipline.

As all of you are aware, we have lost thousands of our brothers and sisters to the pandemic since it broke out in Wuhan, China in February 2020 and became a world health threat. And many more people infected by the virus are still hospitalized in different hospitals in the country. We prayerfully wish them a speedy recovery.

But the good news is that majority of Nigerians are uninfected by the Covid-19 pandemic. It is this larger population of Nigerians free from the venom of the Covid-19 pandemic that our Government is more interested in insulating from the deadly disease. It is in this light that we have decided to create public awareness of the arrival of the Covid-19 vaccine for immunization through this press conference and other necessary public enlightenment activities, to attract massive public awareness to it.

Therefore, we have decided to address Nigerians and draw their attention to the arrival of the Covid-19 vaccine in the country and the kick-start of the Covid-19 vaccine immunization exercise nation-wide. The vaccine is a proactive public health safety measure, which we believe will automatically arrest the spread of Covid-19 and put a halt to the other public inconveniences it causes if all of us avail ourselves to the immunization which is free of charge to everyone.

We wish to let all Nigerians know that the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari has acquired and taken possession of millions of dosages of the Covid-19 vaccine. It is a scientifically approved immunization vaccine, certified by the World Health Organization (WHO) for onward worldwide circulation to fight the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

Nigeria cannot afford to be left out of this global trend. Nigerians should therefore emulate other very religious nations like Saudi Arabia, Rome, India, Australia, Sweden and a host of other countries worldwide which have accepted the Covid-19 vaccine and immunized their people with it. These countries have overcome the Covid-19 pandemic as a result of the intake of the Covid-19 vaccine. And with our collective resolve now, we shall also overcome it.

We find it imperative to emphasize this point because of the underground campaigns, conspiracy theories and propaganda peddled by perpetual anti-progressive forces in the country, who have aligned the Covid-19 vaccine to some unproven and barbaric death claims. There is no scintilla of truth in these negative assertions on the Covid-19 vaccine

Permit us to sound it loud and clear that the Covid-19 vaccine is approved by WHO, the global health body, after several scientific and clinical tests, before certifying it as safe for all humanity. So, in Nigerian, we must guide against repeating the same mistake which opposed the idea of launching a G5 network for telecoms in Nigeria. We are too enlightened to be deceived by those who wish us no good.

Nigeria is a very strategic country in the African continent, which cannot afford indifference or antipathy in the global fight against the deadly Covid-19 epidemic. NCVAA is aware of the campaigns of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) on the Covid-19 vaccine and has decided to add its voice to it. We expect all Nigerians to become agents of this public awareness and actively partake in the immunization to protect ourselves, our families and the public health of the nation.

NCVAA is hereby calling on all Nigerians irrespective of partisan, religious and ethnic affiliations to come out en mass to mobilize their families and friends for the Covid-19 vaccine administration as a way of totally defeating the spread of the coronavirus disease and saving humanity from its destruction. We must resolve today to victoriously conquer the Covid-19 pandemic, in the same manner, we defeated Ebola, bird flu, SARS which occurred years back.

The Covid-19 vaccine is advantageous in several ways. Socially, the immunization against Covid-19 will secure us against contracting the coronavirus disease and ensure greater chances of our freedom from other allied ailments which comes with the Coronavirus and restore our social and communal interactions.

The Covid-19 vaccine is not only capable of saving the lives of the entire humanity, but it can completely prevent hospitalizations’ and the mass deaths we have experienced in the past over Covid-19. It will save us from agonies and pains associated with it. All conspiracy’s theories against the vaccine should therefore be discarded.

Also, medical scientists and researchers who have painstakingly worked and developed the Covid-19 vaccine have attested to its nearly 100% effectiveness at preventing other related severe illnesses related to it, like the common cold amongst others. Taking the vaccine is akin to the popular African proverb which alludes to someone using one stone to kill two birds.

Furthermore, a general public immunization against Covid-19 nation-wide in Nigeria would ease the Government lockdowns and other disproportionate or stifling public health measures, which causes us varying disruptions in our everyday operations. This is why we have found it expedient to endorse the NPHCDA Campaigns. It is now a direct invitation to every Nigerian not only to take the vaccine but become the chief propagandists of this good message of redemption from the grip of Covid-19.

NCVAA profoundly thanks the Almighty God for His Grace upon us; we salute the medical scientists for their wisdom in developing the Covid-19 vaccine and finally, the FGN under President Buhari for securing the vaccines and their early delivery to us. It shows we have a Government and a leader who is sensitive to the public health of Nigerians. We immensely thank all of you.

Thank you all and journey mercies to your various destinations.

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Insecurity: Group Demands Collective Action By Governors

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The Coalition for Truth and Justice (CTJ) has charged state governors to rise to the occasion as chief security officers of their states and stop playing politics with human lives.

The coalition, which made the call at a press conference, on Monday, in Abuja, also noted that collective action is required to end the tide of insecurity across the nation.

In his address, the head of the secretariat, Comrade Ohene Dominic, said the lackadaisical attitude of some governors has escalated criminal activities in the country, adversely causing untold hardship on the people.

Dominic said their failure to commit resources to security has made schools and other places of importance more susceptible to attacks by unscrupulous criminal elements.

According to him, these governors should be treated as saboteurs whose interests is on how they can amass wealth by dipping their hands in state coffers to sustain their lavish lifestyles.

The Coalition for Truth and Justice therefore called on all well-meaning Nigerians to henceforth begin to demand accountability from the various state governors.

On their part, the coalition, however, urged the governors to wake up from their slumber and do the needful as this is not the time for playing to the gallery.

Read the full statement below:

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

Welcome to this press conference standing on the existing protocol.

The peculiarities of time occasioned by the unwholesome activities of criminal elements across that country have once again brought out the national question on how state governors have abdicated their responsibilities as Chief Security Officers of their states.

It is indeed worrisome that this trend has continued unabated and largely responsible for the escalation of the activities of criminal elements across the country which has indeed caused untold hardship on the people.

The various cases of kidnappings and armed banditry in some states are consequences of the lackadaisical attitude of some governors that have been engaged with playing politics to the detriment of human lives.

It is unacceptable for this trend to continue because of the larger consequences which if not abated could spiral out of control and Nigeria might be engulfed with acts of criminalities, so much so that might lead the country on the path of regression.

The Coalition for Truth and Justice as a critical stakeholder in the country is aware that some governors have deliberately allowed criminal elements to have a field day in their states because of what they aim to achieve politically. Consequently, we must ask questions hence this press conference to put issues in proper perspective before the generality of Nigeria towards making the country safe for all concerned.

It is our considered view that if the various state governors had been alive to their responsibilities, the embarrassing incidences of kidnappings of school students in public schools would not have been possible.

It is indeed shameful that some state governors would commit huge resources to pursue endeavours that do not have a direct impact on the lives of the citizens while ignoring the need to provide adequate security for schools and other places of importance that are susceptible to attacks by unscrupulous criminal elements.

It is gladding that this much was highlighted by a fellow governor wherein he stated that governors have failed in providing security in their states in their capacity as Chief Security Officers. It remains despicable that the song on the lips of most governors is that they are not in charge of the security of their states; we beg to ask what they have been doing with the security votes that are accruing to states monthly. How have these monies meant for security spent by the various state governors?

If the governors also claim not to have the required funds to provide security in their states, we also beg to ask where they get the funds with which they pursue their political agenda during times of elections.

It remains a sad tale that this anomaly has thrived over the years and the various state governors have been playing politics with human lives and they seem to have no grouse with how innocent school children are abducted from their dormitories. They also have no grouse with how under their nose, militant groups are grouping and entrenching acts of violence that have led to scores of death and destruction of properties.

It is thus our stand that the various state governors can be regarded as saboteurs whose interests lie in how they can amass wealth by dipping their hands in state coffers to sustain their lavish lifestyles.

The Coalition for Truth and Justice is using this medium to call on all well-meaning Nigerians to henceforth begin to demand accountability from the various state governors with how they have been utilizing the security votes that run into billions of naira monthly.

It is also our stance that the federal government must begin the process of holding state governors accountable for avoidable security breaches in their states and taking steps to ensure that monies meant for security are not diverted to private pockets.

The Coalition for Truth and Justice is using this medium to appeal to the federal government to withhold allocations to states whose governors have been found wanting in the discharge of their responsibilities as Chief Security Officers of their states.

This is our opinion would make the governors wake up to their responsibilities and ensuring that they live up to expectations in this critical task at hand because if funds are continually made available to these non-performing governors, it would be tantamount to economic waste.

The Coalition for Truth and Justice is of the considered opinion that Nigerians must begin the process of tasking the various state governors on accountability and commitment to entrenching good governance for the task at hand requires all hands to be on deck.

The state governors must also wake up from their slumber and do the needful as this is not the time for playing to the gallery. Nigerian Governors must wake- up to their responsibilities and stop playing politics

Thank you for your attention in this regard and we expect to see results in the coming days, weeks, and months in Nigeria.

God bless Nigeria.

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RCCG Prayer Walk: Province 11 Pastor Prays For An End To COVID-19

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Pastor Tunde Benjamislani , The Pastor RCCG Throne Room Parish Transcorp Hilton Abuja Parish , prayed for a permanent end to covid-19.

The Pastor stated this in Abuja while leading the global maiden prayer walk of the Redeemed Christian Church of God.

The Pastor stated that the Prayer walk was a global one going on co-currently in all the 119 nations of the world .

He also stated the prayer walk was an instruction received by the general overseer Pastor E.A Adeboye

He said a time comes upon the church when men need to arise and seek the face of God and as such , the prayer walk have but only four major prayer points.
“A prayer of revival in the land that will usher in a great revival leading to a great harvest for the kingdom”.
” We are praying for Nigeria that God almighty will help Nigeria, the president , governors , ministers and even all the populace so that Nigeria will be great again. We are asking for God’s mercy for the country and for God to back them up in wisdom”.
”We are also asking God to put and end to COVID-19 permanently enough of the agenda of the devil. We are asking for the permanent death of COVID-19” .
”We are also praying as individuals as a church , as a people for breakthrough in every aspect of life , that every door close against the children of God be open”
The vice president, Yemi Osinbajo is a pastor from the Redeemed Christian Church of God .

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