By Emma Arubi
WARRIâ€”THE Senate Committee on Navy has stated that the military Joint Task Force (JTF), in the Niger Delta is not fighting a personal war but militancy and criminality that negate the economic interest of the nation, even as it conceded that what is required is a political solution to the problems of the area.
The Chairman of the Committee, Chief Bode Olajumoke, who led a 5-member team of the committee, disclosed this yesterday evening at the Osubi Airstrip, Warri, Delta State after a working visit to the Naval Base (NNS Delta) Warri and the Nigerian Navy Engineering College, Sapele where they inspected the state of facilities of the Navy.
Senator Olajumoke, accompanied by Senators Tanko Ayuba, John Shagaya, Suleiman Adokwe and Sidi Alli to Delta State, maintained that the committee believed that militancy and its criminal activities in the region should not be condoned in any form, noting that â€œyou just can not close your eyes and allow criminals to take over. It is not done anywhere in the worldâ€.
He said the Senate was conscious of the fact that the Niger Delta problem cannot be solved through military might but through politics in terms of making adequate provisions for the citizens of the region, stressing that â€œas regards the criminal activities and militancy, there is no way we want to condone itâ€.
Chief Olajumoke had earlier commended Governor Uduaghan for the tremendous support afforded the Navy in the state in the area of accommodation, welfare, vehicles and other logistic support, explaining that they were in the state as part of their oversight functions to monitor how funds appropriated to the Navy in the 2008 budget are being appropriated.
He stated that they would use the opportunity of the visit to assess compliance level, challenges and prospects and make appropriate recommendations because according to him, the nation has the resources to make the Nigeria Navy the pride of the Country.
Responding, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan commended the Federal Government for approving a Forward Operation Base, FOB, at Escravos, saying that it would serve as key security point in the waterways that would ensure easy passages for sea going vessels, shippers, marine business and bring the Delta ports back to life and create employment opportunities for the restive youths of the area.
Dr. Uduaghan disclosed that it has granted the Navy a Certificate of Occupancy for the acquired land and further promised to assist the Navy whenever the need arises in the course of setting up the FOB.