The US new Deputy Chief of Mission, David Young, is in Delta State, Nigeria’s south-south with other mission officials for an all-embracing dialogue involving stakeholders in the Niger Delta. U.S. government believes that dialogue is very important in resolving grievances and there is a need for Nigerians to exploit mechanisms for dialogue in moving forward.
Meanwhile, The Islamic led government of Nigeria has ordered the military known for extrajudicial killing to go calm the situation down in the christian dominated Niger-Delta Region.
The Commander, “Operation Crocodile Smile’’ of the Nigerian Army, Brig-Gen. Benbella Raji, however assured Niger Delta residents of their safety.
Raji gave the assurance during a training to enhance the operations of the military.
The Commander, who is from the 4 Brigade, Nigerian Army in Edo, also said that the training would help to improve the security situation in the Niger Delta.
“This exercise was launched by the Chief of Army Staff a few days ago.
“Today, we move round the streets to give assurance to the good citizens of Delta, especially in Warri, that the army is here for their security.
“There are rules of engagement that guide exercises of this nature which are also meant to strengthen civil-military relations.
“As we speak, there is free medical outreach provided by the Nigerian Army near the Olu of Warri palace.
“We urge people in Niger Delta communities not to entertain any fear, we guarantee their safety,’’ he said.
The training, involved the movement of troops and equipment through Udu, Uwvie and Warri South Local Government Areas.
Some residents of Warri and its environs were apprehensive upon sighting the troops and equipment.
“Operation Crocodile Smile’’, which ended on Monday, was, however, peaceful and successful.
It will be recalled that the Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Tukur Buratai, had on Aug. 27 declared the military training, codenamed “Operation Crocodile Smile’’ open in Sapele.
Buratai said the exercise was not meant to harm anyone but to drill the officers and to also fortify security in the volatile Niger Delta region.