Nigerian Army on Friday commenced'Operation Crocodile Smile III’ exercise at 16 Brigade in Bayelsa State and extended to all States under 6 Division Area of Operational Responsibility to stop the tide of pipeline vandalism in the region.

The Commander, Sector 1, ‘Operation Delta Safe’, under the 6 Brigade Command of the Nigerian Army, Col. Alhassan Grema, has assured the indigenes within its area of responsibility of the cooperation of his men and officers in enhancing cordial relationship through its civil-military efforts.

Speaking in Ughelli South and North where the Army presented chairs and desks to the pupils of Etako Primary School, Okpare Olomu and Oharisi Model Primary School, in continuation of its ‘Operation Crocodile Smile III’ in the region, Col. Grema explained that the gesture was part of efforts to build trust with local communities.

He noted that the emphasis placed on education in this year’s exercise as directed by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai, was to ensure that primary education receives the necessary support.

Col. Grema, supported by the Commanding Officer (CO Rear) 222 Battalion, Ughelli, Major Moshood Yusuf, during the commissioning ceremony, assured that the Sector would continue to contribute to the growth of primary education within its areas of operation, urging other stakholders to follow suit.

According to him, “As part of its Civil-Military cooperation activities, the Nigerian Army under the Sector 1 Command of Operation Delta Safe, has decided to donate chairs and desks to some schools in Ughelli North and South today in line with the directive of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai”.

“Since the commencement of the Operation Crocodile Smile III, the Sector had undertaken the distribution of free educational materials to selected primary schools within our coverage areas”.

“The reasons behind the choice of primary schools was based on the fact that its the foundation of our educational systems in the country and we intend to contribute our little quota in ensuring the growth at that level”.

“Today as you can see, we have added chairs and desks to our donations to these schools. And because of the large population of pupils in this school (Oharisi Model Primary School), I have instructed that extra 500 exercise books be added so it can get to everyone of them”.

“I enjoined the political class, especially public office holders and thank God we have the council chairmen of Ughelli North and South with us here today as well as other well meaning Nigerians to equally contribute their own quota to the development of the primary education across the country”.

In his reaction, the Chairman of Ughelli North Local Government Area, Hon. Godwin Adode, commended the Army for its gesture and assured that the local council would build on it by looking at other areas of need in the school that could be fixed to improve on the learning environment.

Also commenting, Chairman of Ughelli South council area Hon. Richard Koffi noted that he has been motivated by the actions of the Army to aid in improving the standards of learning in various primary schools in his council area.

The head teachers of Oharisi Model Primary school, Mr Fidelis Ukrakpo and his counterpart in Etako Primary School, Mrs Okpako Victoria, also commended the Army’s Sector 1 Command for the donations to the schools and assured that the they would be used for the purpose for which they are intended.

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