Navy Chief Assesses Officers’ Readiness To Safeguard Waterways

navy, waterwaysAs part of efforts to assess the professionalism and preparedness of the Nigerian Navy to adequately protect the nation’s waterways, the Chief Of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, is in Yenagoa for an inspection exercise.

During his visit to the Central Naval Command, he is expected to assess the quality of equipment belonging to the force and evaluate the professionalism of the officers.

The navy chief, who commissioned the gymnastics and relaxation centre of the Naval central command in Yenagoa and inspected other projects, was also hosted by the Deputy Governor of the State, Rear Admiral John Jonah, at the government house.

While receiving Mr Ibas at the Government House, Yenagoa, Mr Jonah called for increased collaboration and support for the Nigerian Navy, to enable the agency effectively police the Niger Delta region and the Nation’s territorial waters.

He noted that, the call is imperative in view of the increasing level of sophistication, with which the criminal elements carry out their nefarious activities in the maritime environment of the country.

The deputy governor, who described the Nigerian Navy as the only national establishment that has the responsibility, resources and training to keep the maritime space safe, urged all stakeholders to give legitimate support to the agency’s fight against crude oil theft, piracy and other crimes in the waterways.

He also expressed full appreciation to the Nigerian Navy for immortalizing Late Rear Admiral Nelson Bossman Soroh, by naming one of its formations, NNS Soroh, after him.

Mr Jonah said the gesture would go a long way in motivating serving naval personnel, to give their best in serving the nation.

“Let me also use this opportunity to publicly commend the Nigerian Navy for its efforts to immortalise one of our heroes, Rear Admiral Nelson Bossman Soroh, who gave his best, in serving our country.

“I thank you all for recognizing his contributions by naming a base, NNS Soroh.

He then called on the Navy to increase its presence in the state, by deploying more mobile stations and machinery to enhance its operations in Bayelsa, which he described as the most riverine state in the entire country.

He believes that Bayelsa State needs more of those mobile stations than other areas, because according to him, it is more riverine than any other state.

Referring to the state as the “centre of gravity”, he appealed for special attention.

“I know it is not easy to have those mobile platforms. But, let’s make sure that, we continue to mount pressure on the management of the system.

The Chief of Naval Staff, told journalists that his visit to the state was in continuation of an ongoing nationwide inspection tour of naval base, equipment and establishments.

He also expressed gratitude to the state government for the donation of a 100-hectare land and gunboats to the Nigerian Navy.

Vice Admiral Ibas promised to make good use of the donations and assured that the Navy would be more proactive in its approach to curbing criminality in the nation’s maritime environment.

He said, “I want to thank you for the support you have provided the Nigerian Navy, since our arrival here both in terms of logistics and welfare support to our bases.

“You are aware, that we have extended our bases and units to create mobile stations, which enables us to be closer to the people and fully cover the flash-points that we have identified.

“We are also in the process of creating additional choke points.”

He expressed hopes that once those areas are well manned and policed, “we will be able to reduce criminality,”.

Operation Delta Safe Rescues Kidnap Victim, Impounds Petroleum Truck

kidnapping-suspect-operation-delta-safeThe Deputy Co-ordinator of  the Operation Delta Safe’s Joint Media Campaign Centre, Thomas Otuji, revealed that the troops of operation, in conjunction with the Nigerian police and vigilante group, have rescued a kidnap victim.

The victim, Mrs Patience Abere, who is the Chief Matron of Ughelli Central Hospital, was abducted by three armed men in her car, at her residence in Delta State.

A statement issued by the spokesman for the command headquarters of ‘Operation Delta Safe’ in Yenagoa, Lieutenant Thomas Otuji, said the arrest was part of the recent successes recorded in the ongoing special operation against oil theft and other related crimes in the Niger Delta.

kidnapping-suspect
One of the suspects arrested by the Operation Delta Safe

Although two suspects fled on sighting the troops, one of the suspects, Innocent Egboboh, was apprehended while two locally made pistols and three live cartridges were recovered from the criminals.

Similarly, troops of Sector-One also trailed and arrested suspected kidnappers, one Mr Simon Agbabule and his accomplice at Okwugbude community in Okpe Local Government Area, Delta State.

The criminals were on their way to kidnap a victim when the troop monitored and swung on them.

Items recovered included one AK 47 rifle, two magazines and 49 pieces of 7.62mm special ammunition.

Aside successes recorded in the fight against kidnapping, they also achieved some success in the battle against illegal bunkering operations and attempted inducement of their troops.

During a static operation the troops arrested one Mr Salisu Mohammed Zayyan, a driver of a petroleum tanker marked ‘Iveco’, with inscription of major petroleum marketer, Con-oil.

The tanker was reported to be containing 33,000 liters of substance suspected to be illegally refined Automated Gas Oil (AGO).

The suspect confirmed to have illegally loaded the product from Port Harcourt and was heading to Zamfara State.

oil-thieves-in-south-south
Vehicle carrying illegal petroleum product

Furthermore, while on patrol, troops intercepted one Mr Kesiena Oloya conveying 35 x 25 litre Jerri cans, filled with substance suspected to be illegal AGO along Jeremi junction also in Ughelli south.

Items impounded include two Vento cars and a Nokia mobile phone.

The suspect, who attempted bribing troops with the sum of 29,500 Naira, was arrested and handed over to the police, while the vehicles were set ablaze.

Two white Hilux vehicles, one which disguised as an escort vehicle with an escort tag as plate number and the other suspected to be carrying illegal refined ago were also intercepted by the troops.

The occupants were arrested along Kwale Asaba expressway, Ndokwa West Local Government Area, Delta State.

While appreciating the untiring support of the public for providing timely information to the command, officers of the Operation Delta Safe, reaffirmed their commitment to fighting crime in Niger Delta.

According to them, “no amount of inducement by recalcitrant criminals will compromise the resilient troops from ridding economic saboteurs from the region”.

Ijaw National Council Warns FG, Condemns Proliferation Of Adhoc Groups

 

militant, NPDC, Delta, Pipelines, Crisis, Negotiation
The council says there are too many parties jostling to be part of the negotiation talks with FG

At least 32 groups have emerged and are scrambling to be part of negotiations with the Federal Government over the Niger Delta crisis.

This was according to the President of the Ijaw National Council, Charles Harry, who mentioned this during a meeting of the council with journalists in Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital.

The Ijaw leader who described it as inimical to the interest of the region, called on the federal government to avoid ad-hoc arrangements which is believed to only produce temporary relief.

Ceasefire Agreements

There have been several attacks on oil facilities in the region, leading to a drop in oil output of the nation that relies largely on crude oil sales for revenue.

A group that calls itself the Niger Delta Avengers has claimed responsibility for most of the attacks.

Recently, it said it has agreed to a ceasefire and was ready for negotiation with the Federal Government.

Ijaw national council, adhoc groupsThe Ijaw council however opined that the recent bombings in the Niger Delta even in the face of ceasefire agreements, are also an expression of grievances.

This according to them is over what they believe is the “persecution of the Former President, Jonathan, by prosecuting his wife Patience Jonathan”.

‘Don’t touch Mrs Jonathan’

The Niger Delta Avengers had threatened to initiate more attacks if Mrs Jonathan is arrested, suggesting that the EFCC should begin with the “prosecution of past first ladies”.

One of the groups, Ijaw Youth Congress (IYC) headed by Udengs Eradiri said “Mrs Jonathan should not have to answer any questions from the EFCC as she got her wealth through gratification and ‘thank you’ gifts from those who seek her help”.

Mr Eradiri also made reference to the funds allegedly recovered from ex-Governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha.

He alleged that “Bayelsa state money is in their coffers” saying such monies ought to be put back into the state for its well-being.

The Avengers appear to have split into several groups, making the task of securing proper negotiations with the actual group seem a bit daunting for the government.

However, with the military’s initiation of Operation Delta Safe and Exercise Crocodile Smile, there are hopes that there will soon be an end to the attacks on oil installations.

 

Population commission urges govt. to use population data to curb insecurity

 The director general of the national population commission, Mr Jamin Zubema has called for the use of population data in combating issues of insecurity in the country.

At a meeting with participants of the Defense Intelligence School in Abuja, Mr Zubema said that an in-depth understanding of the nation’s population will help in reducing to the barest minimum the current spate of insecurity experienced in some parts of the country.

The population commission’s boss identified the nation’s current security challenges to include; “militancy in the Niger-delta, Boko Haram in parts of the northeast and FCT surroundings, boundary disputes in some many parts of the country, conflicts between farmers and herdsmen.”

All of which he claims “require the need to understand our population dynamics in terms of the fertility, mortality and migration.”

“Similarly, worsening unemployment and ignorance reinforce poverty and they pose serious security challenges” he added.

Mr Zubema also noted that “data from the commission on occupation, education and structure of the population, will help the government to take informed decisions in the process of planned interventions in these areas.”

On his part, the deputy director at the defense intelligence agency, Mr Wolu Okwuwolu says that data provided by the national population commission will, to a large extent, help its participants better understand how to provide reports on national security.