This is the official blog of the Nigeria-based Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), a human rights organization which promotes, protects and projects the rights of Muslims. This group condemns terrorism and all acts of violence. Its motto is 'Dialogue, Not Violence'
Friday, October 13, 2017
MURIC COMMENDS ARMY FOR CROCODILE SMILE MEDICAL OUTREACH
13th October, 2017
CROCODILE SMILE MEDICAL OUTREACH
The Nigerian Army commenced a military exercise tagged
‘Operation Crocodile Smile’ in the South West few days ago. A major feature of
the exercise is its medical outreach which provides locals the opportunity to
access medical care pro bono.
Rights Concern (MURIC) is greatly excited by this initiative. It is profound,
patriotic and chivalrous.
Apart from the brilliant idea of providing medical care for
the local population, Operation Crocodile Smile is capable of reducing the rate
of crime in the South West. It should be noted that the South East, which is
notorious for its high crime rate reportedly became calm few weeks after the
commencement of Operation Python Dance by the Nigerian Army.
These military exercises are necessary once in a while in
view of the proliferation of criminal activities in the country. Armed robbery,
kidnapping, rape, etc remain on high profile. But the general state of
insecurity became pronounced with the threat of secession made by the proscribed
Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). The seizure of several weapons actually
raised the alert level to red.
This year alone,
661 pump action guns were confiscated by the Nigerian customs on January 30,
2017. 440 guns illegally imported from Turkey were discovered by customs on May
24. Another 1,100 were recovered on September 11 while 470 pump action guns
were seized on September 21. More powerful weapons like machine guns and RPGs
were also seized at the border.
It is normal for these seizures to give the authorities and
the discerning public cause for serious concern and the volatile situation
altogether constituted the raison d’etre for military exercises like
Operations Python Dance and Crocodile Smile.
MURIC commends the Nigerian Army for this proactive measure.
Arrogant force will not bow until counter-force surfaces. We also laud the
Federal government (FG) for deeming it fit to approve the military exercises.
It is well-known that a weak government cannot protect innocent citizens. Equally
credit-worthy is the Nigerian chief of customs, Ahmed Ali. The brilliant performance
of the customs department during his tenure can be traced to his high level of
discipline. The importers of those dangerous weapons could have had their way
but for his tough stance.
We are however deeply
perturbed by the irrational outcry of a few disgruntled elements who have
condemned the exercises. The most noteworthy is the latest call on Yorubas to
boycott the medical outreach in Operation Crocodile Smile. We reject this demand.
It is not only infantile but also irresponsible. This request is sadistic and
anti-people in view of the situation of medical facilities in the country as
well as the poverty level among the populace. Anyone who asks the poor masses
to boycott a medical outreach where they can have access to free medicare is out
of touch with reality. It is only criminals and anarchists who will object to a
military exercise designed to keep kidnappers and armed robbers at bay.
Finally, we charge Nigerians in general and the Yoruba in
particular, to give full cooperation to soldiers engaged in the exercise. It is
for our safety. The citizenry must be security conscious. Kidnapping is alien
to Nigerian culture and everything necessary must be done to bring this menace
to a halt. We urge the Nigerian Army to sustain the exercise until criminals
find something more productive to do. We suggest a quarterly repeat until
irredentists and criminals are forced out of business.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)