There have been concerns about the timing of the exercise with many positing that the army might use the exercise to clamp down on peaceful protesters across the country.
Clarifying its position on the exercise, Colonel Sagir Musa, Acting Director of Army Public Relations, said the exercise had “no relationship with any lawful protest under any guise whatsoever”.
The army stated that its officials had not interfered with the ongoing protest, adding that Nigerians can go about their lawful activities without fear of any interference from the military.
He said, “Thus, to now insinuate that it is an exercise meant to stifle the ongoing ENDSARS protest is to say the least highly misinformed. Exercise Crocodile Smile VI has nothing to do with the ongoing protest and the Nigerian Army has never been involved in the ongoing protest in any form whatsoever.
“So far, the army has acted professionally since the civil protest started over two weeks ago.
“The army hereby enjoins all law-abiding Nigerians to go about their lawful activities unhindered as the exercise has nothing to do with ENDSARS protest, but a yearly event set out to train Nigerian Army officers and soldiers in its efforts to ensuring safety and security of Nigeria and her citizens.”