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Wike deplores N100b budget for military

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Governor Nyesom Wike has backed the onslaught by troops of the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt codenamed “Exercise Crocodile Smile 4” against criminal elements in Rivers State.

This comes as he deplored the N100 billion vote for the military in the 2020 budget, stating that the fund was “grossly inadequate in view of the overwhelming security challenge the country is grappling with.”

The governor spoke yesterday when he received the division’s General Officer Commanding (GOC), Major General Jamil Sarhem, at the Government House, Port Harcourt.

Wike, who had had a frosty relationship with the military chief on account of this year’s governorship election in the state, described the visit as historic.

He pledged his administration’s continued support for security agencies in the state, imploring the military to restrict self to its traditional role of protecting the nation’s territorial integrity.

The governor said: “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.”

Wike cautioned the force against allowing politicians to infiltrate its ranks to commit a breach.

He explained that unknown to many, the state government under his watch played a key role in the establishment of the military formation, hence the current administration will keep supporting the troops to fight crime.

“There is no way that the Rivers State Government will not partner with the army to fight crime. The 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,” he reiterated.

The visitor, General Sarhem, said he was at the State House to seek support for the upcoming military operation geared at containing criminality in the other three states of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa and Delta.


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