The Nigerian Army has announced plans to embark on cyber warfare exercises, amid ongoing protests to end police brutality in the country.
Although the force did not link the exercise to the #EndSARS demonstration, it explains that it is part of the annual Exercise Crocodile Smile which is traditionally conducted in the last quarter of the year.
The Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Colonel Sagir Musa, made the announcement in a statement on Saturday.
According to him, this year’s edition of Exercise Crocodile Smile which is the sixth is scheduled to commence from October 20 to December 31, 2020.
Colonel Musa stressed that the exercise was deliberately intended to be all-encompassing to include cyber warfare operations.
The cyber warfare operation, he stated, was designed to identify, track, and counter negative propaganda on social media and across cyberspace.
“This is the first-ever cyber warfare exercise to be conducted in the history of the African Armed Forces.
“Accordingly, the exercise will also include positive identification component aimed at identifying Boko Haram terrorists fleeing from the North East and other parts of the country as a result of the ongoing operations in the various theatres of operations, especially in the North East, North Central, and North Western parts of Nigeria,” the statement said.
The army spokesman reassured all well-meaning Nigerians of the commitment of the force to the sustenance of peace and security in the country.
He also urged members of the public to show support and understanding throughout the period of the exercise.
Youths across the country began the #ENDSARS protests more than a week while their number has since been increasing by the day as they spread to more locations.
While some political, traditional, and religious leaders have shown their support for the protesting youths, others urged them to sheath their swords.
The protesters have, however, insisted that they would not back down as their demands were beyond the call for an end to police brutality.
They are also calling for a total reform of the police and good governance, among other demands.