Calabar – The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) Vice Admiral Ibok Ete-Ibas, has warned ratings of the Nigerian Navy not to take laws into their hands in the discharge of their professional duties.
Ete-Ibas gave the warning on Monday in Calabar after assessing the level of destruction of properties during the clash that occurred between the navy and police on May 30.
The CNS, who was represented by Rear Adm. Adeniyi Osinowo, the Chief of Training and Operations, Naval Headquarters, Abuja, described the clash as unfortunate.
On May 30, men of the police and the Nigerian Navy clashed in Calabar over some misunderstanding that occurred at the traffic post on IBB road.
During the clash, two policemen lost their lives while one navy rating was shot on his shoulder.
The Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Naval Command, Rear Adm. James Oluwole, the state Commissioner of Police Mr Hafiz Inuwa and other top security officer accompanied the CNS on the visit.
The CNS said: “at the Naval headquarters in Abuja, the collaboration and coordination between the navy and the police remains very strong.
“The relationship is still growing; nothing short of this is acceptable at your level as well.
“What ever has led to this incident, I want to also let you know that a joint investigation committee has commenced sitting to unravel the circumstances and apportion blame as necessary.
“You have the bigger responsibility to protect the peace and maintain the security of the environment, the state and Nigeria in general.’’
Ete-Ibas said that Inuwa, the commissioner of police had assured the navy that the police would maintain peace and cordiality.
“An incident of this nature must not occur again. You are not permitted to take laws into your hands,’’ he warned.
The CNS also visited the police officer that sustained bullet injuries at the police clinic as well as the naval rating who was injured at the navy hospital.
During a visit to the state deputy Gov. Prof. Ivara Esu, both security chiefs pledged to work together for the peace and safety of the state.
Esu, who said that the incident came as a shock to everyone, urged security agencies in the state to always promote inter-agency relationship.
“The state governor, Ben Ayade, has promised to take responsibility for all the damages that were done including payment of the hospital bills of the victims.
“I was consoled when security chiefs in the state rose up and step into the matter,’’ he said.