The General Officer Commanding 81 Division of the Nigerian Army Major General Lawrence Fejokwu has alerted Lagosians of increased military presence day and night within the state from October 4, to December 23, 2021.
General Fejokwu spoke at the flag-off of Exercise Still Water, an all-around military exercise involving members of all the security agencies and geared towards ensuring security within the state and Ogun state during the period of the yuletide season.
The GOC tasked the soldiers to deal ruthlessly with criminals terrorizing residents in the state.
According to GOC, Exercise Still Water was what Nigerians use to know as Python Dance and Crocodile Smile and would help check criminals within the Division’s area of responsibility within the period of the yuletide season.
He said that criminals operating within Lagos need to fear, but law-abiding citizens need not fear and soldiers will constantly parade the street to check criminal elements in the various areas of Lagos.
“We have rules of engagement, lawful residents need not fear, it is an excise and in the cause of this exercise if we find criminals we will deal with them accordingly,” he added.
He urged residents of the states who finds criminal elements or have issues to report at the nearest exercise areas which are scattered all over the state.
He said the essence of the exercise is basically to practice what the military had been learning in the classroom and a continuation of the joint training with other sister services and other security agencies and a rehearsal on how to tackle criminal elements.
General Fejokwu said that troops have been tasked to track down criminal elements where they are found during the exercise, adding that the essence is to ensure a safe environment where the business would conduct without the fear of bandits, hoodlums and armed robbers.
Earlier, the 9 Brigade Commander, Brigadier General Landers Saraso, said the essence is to provide military aide to civil authority, adding that the exercise is designed to curtail the activities of bandits, militants, armed robbers and hoodlum within Lagos and environs.
He said a recent intelligence report indicates that there is a high wave of criminality with the state pointing to the kidnap of retired NAF personnel, as some pointers that security has deteriorated in the state.
He said the exercise is intended to practice unit and subunit on the concept of forward operating bases, test unit commanders in battle procedures and decision-making process regarding the deployment of men and materials in Internal Security Operations and test staff and commanders at the brigade level.
The Brigade Commander said troops within the exercise have been tasked to deal ruthlessly with criminal elements, but relate in a friendly manner with law-abiding citizens.