BY Evelyn Usman
LAGOS—Nigerian Navy, NN, Beecroft, Apapa, Lagos, has warned pirates to stay clear of the command’s jurisdiction in their own interest, or face unpalatable consequences.
The command said it had foiled several attempts by sea robbers to perpetrate their criminal acts within its jurisdiction, arresting some suspects in the process.
The Commander, Commodore Chris Ezekobe, who gave the warning during an interview with Vanguard at the end of the parade to mark his inaugural rounds, noted that the actions were in line with the Chief of Naval Staff strategic guidance 01, with zero tolerance to illegalities.
According to him, the arrests were made between February and May 2013.
He said: “The first arrest was that of a vessel called MT Ebba. We also arrested four Benin Republic’s citizens, who were accosted around the Single Buoy Mooring, SBM.
“SBM area is at the Lagos ancourage, where ships discharge refined product to the Atlas Cove jetty. The third has to do with pipeline vandalism.”
“The vandals were around the Port Novo creek. Though our men at Atlas Cove were unable to arrest them, all the instruments used for the vandalism, including two boat, were recovered and brought to base.”
He also highlighted the limited platforms at the disposal of the Nigerian Navy.
, NN and the need to increase the capacity of its Regional Maritime Awareness Centre, ALMANAC as some of the challenges faced by the Service, he however added that naval personnel had been able to live within the limited means, following regular trainings by America and Britain.
He said: “As the foot soldiers, we make sure we get a boat out every day but we do not have over night patrols because of the wear and tear of the limited number of platforms. But we collaborate with stakeholders in the maritime sectors by providing static security with a view to beefing up security within the maritime domain. Nevertheless, in a bid to meeting up with contemporary challenges of robberies at sea, we have our men trained in carrying out riffles drills, weapon training and navigation on the Shadags boats.
“We also have an SBS unit which is specifically a sea boat section. It’s specially dedicated for counter insurgency, anti-terrorism, and counter hostage taking, assault on platforms at sea. These men are trained by Americans and British The CNS strategic guidance 01, has zero tolerance to illegalities and as the Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command is enforcing it, we are the foot soldiers on ground to implement it. So my message to sea robbers is, may your days be rough.”