The Nigerian Army on Sunday backed down from its plan to crush the #ENDSARS protests.
Apprehension had followed the Nigerian Army’s threat in separate statement to move against those it described as troublemakers and subversive forces.
In a second statement, the army had announced the commencement of Operation Crocodile Smile IV to engage in cyber warfare against hackers and crack down on fleeing Boko Haram terrorists and other troublemakers.
This was interpreted to mean that President Muhammadu Buhari had given orders to the military to crack down on the protesters for refusing to end the street marches.
However, spokesman fir the Nigerian Army, Col. Sagir Musa, said in a statement that the military had nothing to do with the “civil protests.”
It reads: ”
EXERCISE CROCODILE SMILE VI HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ENDSARS PROTEST WHATSOEVER
1. The attention of the Nigerian Army (NA) has been drawn to some social media stuff wrongfully condemning the Army and its Leadership over the announcement of Exercise CROCODILE SMILE VI particularly the Cyber Warfare Component of the Exercise. This year’s Exercise CROCODILE SMILE is scheduled to commence from the 20th of October to the 31st of December 2020 has no relationship with any lawful protest under any guise whatsoever.
2. For the records, Exercise CROCODILE SMILE is a yearly exercise in the NA Calendar/Forecast of Events which traditionally holds from October to December of each year.
3. Thus, to now insinuate that it is an exercise meant to stifle the ongoing ENDSARS protest is to say the least highly misinformed. Exercise CROCODILE SMILE VI has nothing to do with the ongoing protest and the NA has never been involved in the ongoing protest in any form whatsoever. So far, the army has acted professionally since the civil protest started over two weeks ago.
4. The army hereby enjoins all law abiding Nigerians to go about their lawful activities unhindered as the Exercise has nothing to do with ENDSARS protest, but a yearly event set out to train NA officers and soldiers in its efforts to ensuring safety and security of Nigeria and her citizens.”