Nigerian Army Wednesday donated some educational and sports materials like books, desks, mathematical sets among other items to various schools in Bayelsa State ahead of the commencement of Operation Crocodile Smile 4.
The military authorities have also deployed several teachers to selected schools in Bayelsa State in preparation for Operation Crocodile Smile 4, an annual exercise geared towards ridding key flashpoints of crimes in the Niger Delta region.
The Commander 16 Brigade of the Nigerian Army in Yenagoa, Brig. Gen. Valentine Okoro, disclosed this during his visit to the Ijaw National Academy (INA) in Kaiama, Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area; Central Epie Secondary School, Opolo in Yenagoa; and Community Secondary School, Otuasega in Ogbia Local Government Area.
He said the professional teachers who are personnel of the Nigerian Army would take specific subjects in which the schools are deficient.
The commander urged the beneficiaries to reciprocate by staying away from crimes and reporting people with criminal tendencies to the authorities.
Okoro added that though the deployment of the military teachers was temporarily, it would go a long way to complementing the efforts of the government and other bodies interested in the education of the youths.
The military commander, who had earlier presented medical items to some schools in the brigade’s Area of Operation (AOR), warned the young people against cultism and other anti-social behaviour.
According to him, “This exercise in tune with the Chief of Army Staff’s vision is premised on having a professionally responsive Nigerian Army in the discharge of its constitutional roles. The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, places a lot of premium on the educational development of our youths in this country.
“He believes that initiatives like this will encourage a sizeable number of youths and students to contribute meaningfully to the society. Mentoring of youths is important in this country to the Nigerian army. You must shun all criminal activities, violence and continue to promote good citizenry.
“You must also shun illegal bunkering and pipeline vandalism. You must say no to cultism, sea piracy and report illegal activists to security agencies. Report anybody who is threatening the society.”
He noted that the deployment of teachers to some schools in Bayelsa State would go a long to change the face of education in the state.
“They (military teachers) are qualified and professional teachers who are serving in the Army. After consultation with the school authorities, we have identified some areas which these schools are deficient. In those subject areas, the soldiers will be providing assistance accordingly in order to reposition education in Bayelsa State.”
He urged the people of the state to cooperate fully during the Operation Crocodile Smile 4, noting that they had nothing to fear during the exercise.
Okoro noted that while carrying (kinetic) operations like raids, cordon and search as well as clearance operation, the military has also identified that investing in the development of young people would pay off in the long term.
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