Governor Wike also pledged to wholeheartedly support the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army to effectively carry out Exercise Crocodile Smile 4 to rid the state of criminal elements.
Speaking during a Courtesy Visit by Major General Jamil Sarham, the General Officer Commanding 6 Division of the Nigerian Army at the Government House Port Harcourt on Thursday, Governor Wike reiterated that the military must restrict themselves to their traditional role of maintaining security.
“I cannot be enemy to security agencies. Without security, there can be no governance. The Rivers State Government supported the first three exercises, we will support Exercise Crocodile Smile 4.
“We should work as partners. We should not work as if there is a problem. I thank you for coming and hope that this will be a new beginning”, he said.
Governor Wike warned the military against allowing politicians to infiltrate their ranks and compel them to take act outside their traditional roles.
“As I said, we will give you the required support. However, concentrate on your Traditional roles. Don’t allow any politician use you.
“Let any politician who wants to play politics, come and face me. The Army should remain on their constitutional role, that will help”, he said.
He informed that the Rivers State Government under his watch played a key role in the establishment of 6 Division of the Nigerian Army. He noted that the State Government will continue to partner with the Army to fight crime.
“Rivers State Government played a great role in the establishment of 6 Division of the Nigerian Army. Of all the states, we played a greater role.
“There is no way that the Rivers State Government will not partner with the Army to fight crime. Rivers State Government is willing to partner with the Nigerian Army to fight crime.
“We have always supported Exercise Crocodile Smile. We will support Exercise Crocodile Smile 4”,
Governor Wike described the visit of the General Officer Commanding 6 Division as historic.
The Rivers State Governor emphasised that the N100billion allocated to the Nigerian Army in the 2020 budget is inadequate towards the promotion of security.
Earlier, the General Officer Commanding 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Jamil Sarham said he was at the Government House Port Harcourt to seek the support of the Rivers State Government for the forthcoming exercise Crocodile Smile 4.
He said: “The purpose of this visit today is to intimate you of the Division’s Preparation for exercise Crocodile Smile 4 and invite you as one of the Special Guests “.
He invited Governor Wike for the commencement of Exercise Crocodile Smile 4, which is a follow up to Exercise Crocodile Smile 1, 2 and 3. He said the Exercise will be conducted in Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa and Delta States.
“Exercise Crocodile Smile 4 is a follow up exercise to Exercise Crocodile Smile 1,2 and 3. The 6 Division of the Nigerian Army is covering Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers State. The pre-exercise flag off will be held on 25th October, 2019.
“The purpose of the exercise is to build on the successes of the past editions by ensuring total security. This will be achieved by identification and clearing of flashpoints of criminal hideouts as well as destruction of illegal oil bunkering camps”, he said.
He added that the Exercise Crocodile Smile 4 will also include civil military cooperation in promoting activities such as medical Outreach.
The General Officer Commanding 6 Division of the Nigerian Army urged Governor Wike to sensitise Rivers people to support Exercise Crocodile Smile 4.
Since assuming office in August 2018, this is the first time that the General Officer Commanding 6 Division is visiting Governor Wike.