Police, Navy Laud Amnesty Move By Bakassi Strike Force

niger-delta-indigenes-and-muhammadu-buhariThe Cross River State Commissioner of Police, Hafiz Inuwa, has expressed his willingness to work with the Bakassi Strike Force.

Mr Inuwa made the assertion following the call by the repentant militants to embrace amnesty once they get the right platform.

The Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral James Oluwole, also lauded the move by the group.

He stated that leaving sophisticated arms in the hands of untrained people could be very disastrous.

The Police and Navy bosses made the remarks in separate interviews with Channels Television in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.

Hasten Amnesty Process

They stressed the need for the Federal and state governments to look into the matter and hasten the amnesty process, in order to disengage the group of the many sophisticated weapons in its possession.

Mr Inuwa and Rear Admiral Oluwole noted that the action was commendable in view of the fact that no unauthorised citizen is backed by law to possess arms and ammunition, stressing that it could be abused while the repercussion could massive.

Following an interaction with the militants, Channels Television broke the news about the group’s call for amnesty in June 2016.

The Bakassi Strike Force, which operates in the creeks surrounding Cross River State and its environs, comprises of young men from Cross River and Akwa Ibom states.

Addressing reporters recently in Calabar, the leader of the militants, Simply Benjamin, who is popularly known as G1, again openly expressed their determination to lay off their arms to the government and embrace peace in view of the current happenings in the Niger Delta region.

Top security agencies have described the move as a right step towards the right direction for the region and Nigeria as a whole.

Until amnesty is granted to the militants by the appropriate quarters, the group remains in hiding as no one is privy to their hideouts.

French Naval Ship Visits Nigeria

French Naval Ship Visits NigeriaThe military cooperation between Nigeria and France remains intact, according to the Flag Officer Commanding, Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Ferguson Bobai.

He made the affirmation while receiving a 90- man crew on board French ship Commandant L’ hermimier on a diplomatic mission to the country.

The ship berthed at the Naval Dockyard in Victoria Island, Lagos.

The 2-day visit would afford the French Navy a platform for exchange of strategic sessions with the Nigerian counterparts.

The visit is expected to also include training sessions in safety exercises, diving, as well as running of different techniques for boarding.

Rear Admiral Ferguson Bobai said: “We are going to take the opportunity of their visit to engage them in training some of our personnel in some agreed areas where they have the capacity to do so.

“So, in essence, the visit is a welcome development and it only goes to show you that there is bilateral cooperation between France and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

Nigerian Navy Destroys 42 Illegal Refineries In Delta

Illegal Refineries, Nigerian Navy, Delta, Operation River SweepThe Nigerian Navy has launched Operation River Sweep as part of measures to curtail the activities of crude oil thieves, operators of illegal refineries and other maritime related crimes in the Niger Delta region.

The Flag Officer Commanding, Rear Admiral Mohammed Sanni Garba, said that the operation has led to the destruction of illegal refineries, arrests of criminal elements, recovery of speed boats and stolen crude in the region.

Channels Television crew visited the creeks and found some suspected metallic drums of crude oil and gallons at the site of a camp at Igoniogbene and Asiagbene, both in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State.

Addressing reporters after the operation, Rear Admiral Garba said that Operation River Sweep II was activated as part of measures to further degrade and dislodge the criminal elements in the maritime domain.

He said that the operation started at about a week earlier and had led to the arrest of suspected oil thieves and recovery of so many other items.

42 Illegal Refineries

“I am pleased to announce that after over a week of persistent crack down on the operators of these illegalities, our team has so far discovered and destroyed a total of 42 illegal refining camps.

“Accordingly, about 3,000 Metric Tonnes (MT) of suspected stolen crude oil and 1,000 MT of product suspected to be illegally refined AGO were destroyed in the operation in line with extant regulation.

“Also 40 Cotonou boats laden with suspected stolen crude were set ablaze with nine speed boats and 14 pumping machines recovered during the course of the operation.

“The operation also led to (various) arrests including three high profile members of the criminals involved in pipeline vandalism.

“Some have been interrogated and handed over to the DIA, NPF and DSS as appropriate for further investigation and possible prosecution,” the FOC revealed.

The Navy restated that it remained committed in ensuring freedom of the waterways and the seas, in order to enhance legitimate and favourable balance of trade towards Nigeria’s economic prosperity and the general well-being of its people.

Navy Offers Free Medical Services To Rural Communities In Bayelsa

Nigerian Navy in BayelsaNigerian Navy has extended its monthly medical outreach to rural coastal communities in Bayelsa State, as part of its effort to promote a cordial relationship with the communities where it operates.

The medical team at the Central Naval Command (CNC), which comprises of doctors, pharmacists, ophthalmologists and other medical professionals, offered full day free services at Otua community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state, south-south Nigeria.

Flagging off the event, the Flag Officer Commanding CNC, Rear Admiral Mohammed Garba, noted that the free medical mission would henceforth, focus on rural communities who lack access to basic health services in Bayelsa State.

“The navy remains committed to building a cordial relationship with you our host community. We will do this by what you are seeing now.

“We are here to provide free medical and humanitarian services to the people of this community,” he said.

Rear Admiral Garba also urged the people to support the Navy in its effort to stamp out oil theft and prevent sabotage on oil installations within their communities.

On his part, an indigene of Otua community and a retired Rear Admiral, Thomas Lokoson, urged the people to desist from oil theft and pipeline vandalism, saying it results to self-inflicted adverse consequences that could be prevented.

He noted that oil leaks and spills resulting from pipeline breach by vandals pollute waterways and farmlands as well as threaten the livelihood of residents in the community.

The retired naval officer regretted that the funds that would have been channeled to development were used for clean-up exercises to solve environmental problems that were avoidable.

The traditional ruler of Otua community, Edward Tokpo, who also benefitted from the free medical mission, applauded the Nigerian Navy for the gesture.

“This is the first in my over 40 years reign as the paramount ruler of this community that we are experiencing this kindness. Thank you Navy, you have indeed done well,” he said.

Mr Tokpo further pledged the cooperation and support of the community to the Nigerian Navy in its effort to secure oil facilities and the coastal communities.

Niger Delta Joint Military Force Pledges To Improve Tactics

Niger Delta Joint Military Force Pledges To Improve TacticsThe newly deployed Commander of the Joint Military Force in the Niger Delta christened ‘Operation Delta Safe’, Rear Admiral Apochi Suleman, has pledged to introduce new tactics to improve ongoing operations in the region.

Suleman, made the pledge in an interview session with newsmen in Yenagoa on Saturday.

He noted that the military is in the region to protect oil facilities and check criminality.

He said that some of the new strategies he would introduce are to strengthen the joint military operations against renewed militancy and agitations in the Niger Delta region.

“In my short time of assumption of duty on November 16, 2016, I have tried to sustain and improve on the peace which has yielded some successes.

“Just a few days ago on Wednesday, troops in Cross River encountered militants in a gun duel around Ikang axis and arrested one of the militants and recovered large cache of arms and ammunition.

“I must commend the efforts of my predecessor Rear Admiral Joseph Okojie, and will fall back on my experiences as Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) at the Central Naval Command in Yenagoa,” Suleman said.

He said that Operation Delta Safe under his command would not condone unprovoked attack on the military by communities under its area of responsibility.

“The last attack on the military men on duty, killing some in cold blood is regrettable and condemnable and when our men went after their killers there was public outcry.

“This a note of warning that any community that attacks our soldiers should be ready for the consequences. – We shall not tolerate any community that habours criminals, we are not here to invade any community, but we are after criminals.

“Any community that habours criminals has lost its immunity and any further unprovoked attack shall be resisted with every resource at our disposal and we shall remain within our mandate,” he stressed.

Fishermen Urge FG To Beef Up Security In Calabar

fishermen, FG, CalabarFishermen and traders at the Henshaw beach in Calabar South Local Government Area of Cross River state, are calling on both the state and federal government to strengthen security along the high sea.

This according to them, is in order to prevent them from the daily harassment encountered on the sea by Cameroonian jam-darns.

The request is coming on the heels of series of harassment they have faced, which has in turn hindered them from their fishing activities.

As a result, fish and crayfish have become scarce commodities in recent times in Calabar, the Cross River state capital.

The Henshaw beach town is the major market known for the sale of crayfish, fresh fish, shrimps, snails and other sea-foods.

The market which is usually a beehive of activity as traders travel from within and outside the state to come buy the commodities, has dropped in the patronage level.

The fishermen and traders who have to get around Bakassi area of the high sea put the blame on the insecurity on the waters.

Speaking to Channels Television, they claimed they are usually detained and asked to pay a ransom before they are freed.

They added that in most cases, the money they travel with to purchase goods to bring back for sale, as well as their fishing boats are usually taken away from them.

One of the traders in tears, described her experience as an unfortunate one, while several other victims joined their voices in seeking help from the government.

The Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral James Oluwole, said the Navy was not aware of the claims, but promised to look into the matter and extend its security moves to the flash points.

Furthermore, he called on the community to avail security agencies with useful information that would help them in their intelligence gathering, while promising not to disclose the caller’s identity.

The government has also promised that it would continue to partner the Navy and Marine Police with necessary logistics in order to step up their security measures.

State Security Adviser, Jude Ngaji also assured them of the government’s prompt response to tackling the security challenge.

The fishermen and traders on the other hand are hopeful that the promised prompt intervention, would help them return to their businesses as soon as possible.

Navy Deploys Security Stations, Gunboats To Choke Points In Niger Delta

Nigerian Navy, Niger Delta, Choke PointsThe Nigerian Navy has deployed maritime security stations with fully equipped surveillance gadgets and gunboats to choke points in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region.

The Navy says the deployment is in line with efforts to sustain the fight against crude oil theft and other maritime crimes across the country.

The Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral James Oluwole, made the disclosure during an operation visit to the latest deployment to Cawthorne Channel in Kalabari in Akuku Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State.

He noted that more stations would be deployed to the choke points which have been identified as routes for high rate of crude oil theft and other insecurity challenges.

In his remark, the Commander of NNS Pathfinder, Commodore Obi Egbuchulam, revealed that 120,000 litres of crude oil which he said was careful disguised has been uncovered by the station.

 

Navy Arrests Suspected Militant Etim Thompson Uduak

Nigerian Navy arrests suspected militant Etim Thompson UduakThe Eastern Naval Command says it has arrested one of the strong forces purportedly behind series of kidnappings and militancy in Calabar, Cross River State’s capital.

According to the Navy, the alleged Kingpin, Etim Thompson Uduak, otherwise known as Sangatan, was arrested through collaborative efforts with personnel of Defence Intelligence Agency.

The Chief Staff Officer at the Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral Obi Ofodile, announced the arrest on behalf of the Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Naval Command at the end of the quarterly route match being observed by the Navy to keep them physically fit and mentally alert in the discharge of their duties.

“Besides the recent arrest of the militant, the command three weeks ago, in collaboration with other security agencies in the State also arrested some of the kingpins allegedly behind series of attacks in the state,” he said.

Addressing the gathering at the termination of the route match at the NNS Victory Ship, the FOCs representative disclosed that the command had recorded successes in its war against militancy and all security challenges.

According to him, areas of successes recorded include curtailing pipeline vandalism, attacks on crude oil pipelines, operation of illegal oil-line refineries, kidnapping, smuggling and other terrorist acts.

He thanked the Federal Government for its supports in providing the Navy with necessary patrol boats and other incentives which helped the command in arresting the Militant.

The arrest came just as kidnappers have abducted four persons in Lagos State, demanding 1.2 billion Naira from the families of the abducted persons.

They are asking for 300 million Naira from each family.

Navy Concludes Multinational Maritime Exercise In C/River

Nigerian NavyThe Nigerian Navy and their colleagues from three other continents have concluded a one-week multinational maritime exercise.

The multinational exercise tagged ‘Operation Obangame Express’ was brought to a halt in Cross River State, southern Nigeria.

The Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral Atiku Abdulkadir, said that the exercise was meant to improve security in the Gulf of Guinea and enhance cooperation between the Navy in African nations and beyond.

“We are developing our capacities and it has come out very clearly during the exercise. Aside from that, it affords us to see how equipment from other countries and Nigeria can operate together and be effective in provision of maritime security,” he said.

The US-Africa Deputy Commander for Regional Operations, Vice Admiral Michael Franken, also stressed the importance of the event.

He urged the Gulf of Guinea nations and the various ministries in each country to share the best practices between themselves, stressing that “the United States is only here as an international partner”.

Since 2009, the yearly multinational exercise seeks to build relationships between navies of most African nations as well as the US, France and other EU participating nations.

32 nations and international organisations from four continents participated in the visit, search, arrest, rescue, seizure, maintenance, security and surveillance exercises including the tactical measures in reclaiming hijacked ships from pirates.

They also re-enacted the series of exercises on the ‘Awunde Code of Conduct’ on non-binding international agreement that lays down the standards which participating countries should follow.

Navy Intercepts Vessel With Migrants From Gabon In Calabar

navyThe Nigerian Navy on patrol in Calabar waters has intercepted a vessel from Gabon carrying about 300 passengers, adding that half of them do not have valid travelling documents.

Briefing reporters at the shoreline of the Calabar waters, Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral Atiku Abdukadir, disclosed that Nigerians, as well as foreigners from West African Countries, Central African region, and about 100 children were also on board in the vessel.

According to the FOC, the passengers with valid documents, after been checked by relevant agencies, will be cleared while more than half the number without valid documents will be repatriated back to Gabon.

While speaking, the Comptroller of the Cross River State Immigration, Funke Adeuyi, advised that parents should strongly discourage their children from travelling abroad without necessary documents.

According to the Cross River State government, intended investors and residents in the state have no course for alarm following this continuous immigrants through the Calabar waters, as the state government remains committed towards security of lives and property.

On December 26, 2015, the Calabar waters took delivery of about 700 deportees from Gabon which was supposed to be the last, following the Federal Government’s directive of putting a stop to such illegalities on its waterways.

Boko Haram Deadline: Navy Steps Up Training For Its Men

boko haram-navyThe Nigerian Naval Training Command is leaving no stone upturned in its efforts to produce well-trained and motivated Naval officers to meet the present security challenges in the country.

The Flag Officer Commanding, Naval Training Command, Rear Admiral Adeniyi Osinowo, said this during an on-the-stop assessment of the training activities and facilities in Onne Naval College in Rivers State.

Rear Admiral Osinowo said that the Navy was mindful of the security order by President Muhammadu Buhari, and his command has since stepped up training to produce well-trained officers to meet the deadline.

According to the Navy, a total of 1,215 officers were set to pass out from the Onne Naval College in November, who will be posted to various units.

Recently, the Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Tukur Buratai, assured Nigerians that the military was working hard to succeed in meeting up with the set deadline, in spite of the the renewed bombings by suspected Boko Haram members.

Also, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, visited Lagos to find ways of tackling the situation.

The Air Chief disclosed that efforts were also being made to provide decent accommodation, healthcare services and welfare for his men, as a way of boosting their morale in the war against insurgents in north-east Nigeria.

Navy Hands Over Seized Vessel To EFCC

navyThe Nigerian Navy Central Naval Command has handed over vessel OMS Ogo and her 8-member crew to officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for prosecution.

Speaking during the brief ceremony at the Nigerian Navy ship nns Delta base in Warri, Delta State, Flag Officer Commanding, Central Naval Command, Rear Admiral Apochi Suleiman, said the Navy did a thorough investigation on the vessel, which was arrested for alleged illegal oil bunkering activities at Nkantu Camp by Chanomi Creek.