March 12, 2018

Canadian warships arrive Nigeria first time in 108 yrs

By Evelyn Usman

Lagos—For the  first time in the 108 years existence of the  Royal Canadian Navy, two of its warships: HMCS Summerside  and HMCS kingston, visited Nigeria weekend, with a view  to establishing  a relationship that will enhance the Nigerian Navy’s efficiency in the Gulf of Guinea.

The warships,  HMCS Kingston and HMCS Summerside,  which  are first class coastal defence vessels of the Royal Canadian Navy,   have served in the Canadian Forces since 1996 and 1999 respectively. They   have  75 crew members  led by the  Commander, Royal Canadian Navy , Vice Adm. Ron Llyod.

Speaking during a visit to the Flag Officer, Commanding Western Naval Command , FOC, Rear Admiral Sylvanus Abbah,  Llyod stated that the visit would provide an opportunity for the two navies to synergise.

He further stated that during the one -week stay in  Nigeria, the warships would  participate in Obagame Express, a maritime exercise conducted by the United States of America Forces, that is  designed to enhance cooperation among participating nations, in order to improve maritime safety and security in the Gulf of Guinea.

Llod said: “This visit is aimed at  fostering the existing bilateral relationships and  to boost capacity of military personnel in Nigeria. We are looking into supporting our excellency (High Commissioner) with respect to Canadian relationship in Nigeria and we are proud to have two Canadian ships: HMCS Summer Side and HMCS Kingston that will  operate in the exercise.”

Also in his remark, the  Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Christopher Thornley reinstated his country’s commitment to  work with the Nigerian Navy as part of the  bilateral relationship.

He said: “ “Our bilateral relationship is going on and this is a step in the right direction to see military cooperation as part of multilateral exercise Operation Obagame .”

Responding, an elated FOC, Rear Admiral Sylvanus Abbah who described the  visit as a privilege since it was the first time , said “  Canadian Royal  Navy came into existence since 1910 and has participated in the first , second world wars and other wars , including United Nations Peace Keeping wars. You have the experience and with your strategic location at the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic ocean,  we hope to tap from your wealth of experience.

“  Since we have many of our training institutions, together,  we will fashion  out what to do in terms of exchanging our military to train in both countries “, Abbah stated.