By Tony Nyong
UYOâ€”Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ishaya Ibrahim, has dispelled rumours that American submarine, allegedly brought in to protect American investments in Nigeria was on the nationâ€™s shore, noting that it would amount to gross infringement of the nationâ€™s maritime law .
Vice Admiral Ibrahim said that the activities of militants in the Niger Delta have adversely affected the operations of the Nigerian Navy in curbing oil bunkering and other national and transnational crimes carried out on the nation’s waters, giving way to alien criminals who take undue advantage of the situation to engage in sea piracy.
Ibrahim, who spoke at the end of the four day Conference of Chief of Naval Staff held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, vowed to dismiss officers who connive with the miscreants, and aid their activities, thereby causing the nation to lose so much in terms of revenue within their maritime dormain.
On the decision to build a Naval base in Ikot Abasi, Ibrahim said the choice of Ikot Abasi was informed by the depth of the sea, the friendly disposition of the people and other factors that were recommended in a report submitted after a nautical study and assessment of 1980 on the then mainland waters.
Ibrahim said the Nigerian Navy was doing its best in the area of policing the nationâ€™s territorial water ways, but added that the force was suffering as a result of shortage of personnel, ships, helicopters and arms to combat bandits on the high sea.
The recommendations and penalty for those who attacked Atlas Cove, he said, had been submitted to the president, who is to act based on the report, while the island is going to be fortified to forestall future occurrences.