More groups in the Southern region have warned against the planned Operation Crocodile Smile II by the Nigerian Army.
The Army on Wednesday said the operation would go after the Badoo group and other criminal organizations in the South.
Director, Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Sani Usman, explained that the military operations – Egwu Eke II and Crocodile Smile II – like the earlier operations, were not targeted at “any particular ethnic group or group of individuals”.
Reacting, Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, and the Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, advised the Nigerian government to reconsider the planned deployment, saying the move could undermine the relative peace in the region.
PANDEF Coordinating Secretary, Dr. Alfred Mulade, said deployment of soldiers was “misadvised and ill-conceived especially at this time when the geopolitical zone is gradually coming to terms with the urgent need for sustaining the relative peace in the region.”
President of the IYC, Mr. Eric Omare, warned that extension of Operation Crocodile Smile II to the Niger Delta region will create tension in the area.
“The plan unnecessary; the federal government should not consider what the Operation Python Dance did in the South-East, which led to the tagging of the Indigenous People of Biafra, (IPOB) as a terrorist group, as an achievement," Mr. Omare said.
“What Operation Python Dance II has done is not an achievement to the Federal Government. It is negative for the government."
“For the Niger Delta, from my experience, extending the Operation Crocodile Smile II to the Niger Delta will only aggravate the volatile situation in the region.”
In its reaction, Afenifere insisted that the Southwest does not require troops for security, urging them to go and fight Boko Harm in Northeast.