The Delta state governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has urged the Nigerian Army to be professional and exercise restraint in dealing with the civilian population.
Okowa gave the commendation on Thursday at the Nigerian Army 63 Brigade Super Camp to train officers and men of the army for Operation Crocodile Smile IV.
He noted that the Army had played significant role in fighting to restore law and order in the country and lauded the civil relations between the army and civil populace.
The governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, however, commended the Army for the healthy relationship between the military and the civil society in the state.
He said, “First, let me thank the Commander of the 63 Brigade for the courtesy extended to me to witness this field training code named Operation Crocodile Smile IV. It is a very welcome development and clear demonstration of the vision and dedication of this command to ensure a safe and secure environment for all and sundry.
“I must thank the Nigerian Army for the enhancement of military civil relations in the state, our people can now relate well with the military without exercising fears. However, there is the need for the men and officers of the force to be professional, methodical and restrained in dealing with the civilian population.
“Granted that certain security situations could be very tricky and tasking, I do believe that the predisposition of our security personnel should be towards problem solving and de-escalation of tension.
“They should be careful not to misconstrue cases of simple misdemeanors to be violent crimes. It is my considered view that the issue of maximum force should be a matter of last resort, especially when dealing with individuals.
“Hence, I find it very encouraging and re-assuring that the command has taken it upon itself to adopt strategic measures aimed at curtailing the nefarious activities of the criminal elements in our midst.”
Also speaking, the commander of the 63 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Brig.-Gen. Usman Bello, thanked the governor for his support for the brigade, describing him as “a friend of the brigade.”
He said the exercise was geared towards ensuring inter-agency cooperation, adequate peace and security during the yuletide as well as for training of personnel on tactical skills required for riverside operations.