THE Pan Niger Delta Forum has described as “most provocative” the nationwide military exercise codenamed Operation Crocodile Smile by the Nigerian Army.
PANDEF also described the deployment of soldiers at a time Nigerian youths were agitating for an end to police brutality as another unnecessary misadventure, adding that the Army shouldn’t have involved itself in the peaceful #EndSARS protest.
The forum, in a statement by its National Chairman and former military governor of Akwa Ibom State, Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga (retd.), condemned the alleged brutalisation of Nigerian youths involved in the peaceful #EndSARS protests.
Nkanga, in the statement titled, ‘PANDEF condemns attacks on #EndSARS protesters, says Nigeria a divided country’, demanded a halt in the alleged brutalisation of the #EndSARS protesters by hired hoodlums, along with policemen in various cities across the country, particularly, Abuja and Benin City, Edo State.
He said, “PANDEF demands an immediate halt of these acts of intimidation, harassment and physical assault of well-meaning young Nigerians, who are peacefully demonstrating their frustration over how the affairs of their country are being conducted.
“We further demand the commencement of unbiased investigations into these incidents, to swiftly bring to book, all those behind the criminal and undemocratic acts across the country.
“PANDEF also deems the nationwide Operation Crocodile Smile exercise announced by the Army, as most provocative, and another unnecessary misadventure.
“It is our well-considered stance that soldiers have no business trying to do ‘police’ job, and, thus, do not have to get involved in the peaceful and intellectual #EndSARS Protests!”