Final week, the Nigerian Military introduced it would start a navy train, Operation Crocodile Smile, nationwide.
A press assertion famous that the yearly train will maintain this 12 months from October 20 to December 31, 2020.
It additionally defined that Operation Crocodile Smile VI will embody cyber warfare workout routines designed to determine, monitor and counter unfavourable propaganda on social media and throughout the our on-line world
The announcement was meant with suspicion and reservation in lots of circles.
Though the Military has maintained that the train is just not focused at #EndSARS protesters, as Tuesday approaches, the emotion is now tilting in the direction of stress.
Nnamdi Chife, a safety intelligence skilled, sees why.
“Ordinarily, this operation would have been the same old inside safety operations to help the civil authorities through the yuletide season.
“However the present announcement by the military authorities tends to intensify fears, as this can be an try to suppress the #EndSARS protests.
“The historical past of military confrontation with protests has all the time had a deadly consequence,” Chife advised DAILY POST.
Cheta Nwanze, who’s the Lead Associate at SBM Intelligence, agrees with Chife.
“To be honest, because the outcry following the primary Python Dance in 2016, the navy has completed comparable operations in perceived hotspots across the nation in the direction of the top of the 12 months. Nonetheless, that is the primary time they’re doing one that’s about cyber warfare.
“What makes this suspect is that their model of “cyber warfare” talks about propaganda, which must be the remit of different our bodies such because the NIA, and never the military in an inside train.
“It’s not unreasonable to concern that this can be an train in creating casus belli to accuse the protesters of serving exterior influences, after which coming down laborious on them.”
So, what ought to #EndSARS protests and Nigerians basically count on throughout Operation Crocodile Smile?
Chife replies: “I count on the military to limit actions to key protest flashpoints.
“The military might also use non-lethal pressure to place down the protest, if their intelligence temporary covers that.
“However I don’t rule out violent confrontation from the facet of the military primarily based on historical past.”