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Niger Delta waterways now safe – FOC

FLAG Officer Commanding Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral Usman Jibrin has said that the joint military operations in the eastern flank of Nigeria’s territorial waters have brought relative peace in the region.

Rear Admiral Jibrin stated this during the command’s ceremonial sunset and end of the year ball 2011 at the Eastern Naval Command headquarters, Calabar, Cross River State.

He said, the Eastern Naval Command that oversees the maritime domain of the Niger Delta region participated in multi-national maritime interdiction operations, several rescue operations, anti-fishing, anti-piracy/poaching operations, all which ensured that piracy, oil bunkerers and militants were sent packing.

According to him, “It is now evident that there is relative peace in this region especially at sea and the creeks. This is a clear testimony of the navy’s continuous presence in those areas and our renewed resolve to ensure that life and resources in our area of responsibility are adequately protected.

“The Command participated actively in several and joint military operations to rid of criminal elements in the eastern flank of our maritime domain. Navy also took part in multinational maritime interdiction operation, several rescue operations, anti-fishery, anti-piracy/poaching operations”, he said.

Apart from the success recorded in operations, Jibrin said there was a renewed attitude to work, a development that has fetched the command its greatest achievements stressing that this was visible in its hospitals, schools and bases as the Navy Secondary Schools in Akpabuyo and Port Harcourt were among the best in the country.

Admiral Jibrin commended the Cross River State government and the management of Moni Pulo Oil and Gas for donating fast attack boats to the command a gesture he explained has aided the navy in its operations in the Niger Delta region and solicited for more of such support.

The FOC told Governor Liyel Imoke who was represented on the occasion by his deputy Mr. Efiok Cobham that the Nigerian Navy was desirous of being part and parcel of the state government’s tourism development programme hence it will remain supportive always.

He urged naval personnel to stick together in spite of the challenges being faced because “for all the disagreements that we face you remind us that there is something that makes us one nation and one people regardless of religion or ethnicity. This is because you serve a cause that is greater than yourselves”.

“Your patriotism, your commitment to fulfill your mission, your abiding commitment to one another has been extraordinary. It is not enough to honour you with words, for words are cheap. We must do it with deeds and that is why we are here today”, he added.

Governor Imoke through his deputy promised to continue to assist the command with logistics to enhance its operational capabilities of securing the waterways and described the ceremonial sunset as one occasion that provides cooperation, understanding and unity between the civil populace and the military.

“It is hoped that at the end of this occasion, there will be a better understanding and more acquaintances and cooperation between the military and civil populace in general. This occasion also demonstrate the loyalty, dedication, hard work and subordination of the military to civil authority”, he stated.



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