Delta unveils Operation Crocodile Smile, tasks military on professionalism

Ifeanyi Okowa

• Okowa names Justice Elumeze Acting President, Customary Court of Appeal
• Assembly passes 2021 budget, raises figure by N5.5b

Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, yesterday, unveiled the Nigeria Army’s Operation Crocodile Smile, urging military officers to be humane and professional in the discharge of their duties.

Okowa, who was represented by Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Chiedu Ebie, noted that the advice became necessary because members of the public had become more conscious of their rights and how they want to be secured.

He said military officers should not abuse their position, stressing that they should not use their position to abuse the rights of other members of the society.

While commending the Nigeria Army, especially the 63 Brigade, Asaba, for the event, he disclosed that the Operation Crocodile Smile VI was necessary as it showed the bond between the Nigeria Army and the larger society.

He, therefore, commended the military authorities for being conscious of the need for peace and security in the state and for contributing to his administration’s ‘Stronger Delta Agenda.’

Okowa, who noted that the Operation Crocodile Smile VI was a welcome development that had promised to ensure that criminals found no safe haven during the yuletide season, urged citizens of the state to be security conscious and cooperate with security operatives at all levels to stop criminal elements on their tracks.

Earlier, the 63 Brigade Commander of the Nigeria Army, Brig.-Gen. Ibrahim Jallo, said the exercise was an annual event that would sustain peace and unity, pointing out that the exercise would be carried out in the entire state.

BESIDES, Okowa approved the appointment of Justice Patience Elumeze as Acting President of the state Customary Court of Appeal.

A statement issued by Ebie affirmed that the appointment takes effect from Tuesday, November 17, 2020 (yesterday).

The statement added that the appointment was occasioned by the retirement of Justice Stella Ogene as President of the state Customary Court of Appeal.

The governor urged Ogene to bring her experience to bear on her future endeavours, adding that as she was retiring into private life, the state would still require her counsel and services, especially as a role model to the girl-child.

MEANWHILE, the Delta State House of Assembly passed the 2021 Budget with an increase of N5.5b to the N378.4b earlier presented by Governor Okowa.

House Leader, Hon. Tim Owhefere, moved the motion for the passage of the bill after reviewing the report of the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, Chaired by the Speaker, Hon. Sherrif Oborevwori.

Submitting the report, Vice Chairman of the Committee, Hon, Festus Okoh, announced an increased budget of N383.95b, adding that N173.1b would be for recurrent expenditure and N210.8b for capital expenditure.