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.

Operation ‘Eagle Eye’: Navy Arrests Suspected Oil Thieves

Operation 'Eagle Eye': Navy Arrests Suspected Oil Thieves The Nigerian Navy has arrested five suspected oil thieves during their annual sea exercise code named exercise ‘Eagle Eye’.

The Navy also destroyed four illegal refineries set up at Ijawkiri in Rivers state during the operation.

In addition, the naval team destroyed five boats laden with products suspected to be crude oil, while another two barges suspected to contain crude oil, were handed over to the Economic And Finical Crimes Commission (EFCC), along-side the owners for prosecution.

The primary duty of the Nigerian Navy is to safeguard the nation’s waterways and that task has become more imperative in the face of attacks on oil facilities and oil bunkering in the Niger Delta region.

At the Onne federal terminal, the Chief of Defense Staff, General Gabriel Olonishakin, flagged off the ‘eagle eye’ operation, aimed at enhancing maritime security in Nigerian territorial waters.

According to him, eight naval patrol ships participated in the exercise as they began their inspection from Onne to bonny into the deep waters.

Tactical commander, operation eagle eye, Rear Admiral Muhammed Garba, explained that aside from patrolling critical oil infrastructure, the team demonstrated their readiness to tackle any threat by showing their prowess in various aspects of the tactical operation.

It was after the exercise that the Commander, Nigerian Navy ship pathfinder, Commodore Obi Egbuchulam, handed over two suspected oil thieves and two barges of suspected crude to the EFCC.

This is not the first of initiatives carried out to bring an end to sea crime in the Niger-Delta and Gulf of Guinea regions.

In November, ‘Exercise Sharkbite’, was also implemented to also tighten security around choke points in the maritime environment.

However, as the exercise ‘eagle eye‘ draws to a close it is expected that the lessons learnt would not only be applied by the naval personal, but would also yield positive results in the protection of Nigerian water ways both within the country and in deep sea areas.

Nigerian Navy Resumes ‘Exercise Eagle Eye’ To Tighten Sea Security

Nigerian Navy Resumes 'Exercise Eagle Eye' To Tighten Sea SecurityThe Nigerian Navy is embarking on a sea exercise, named ‘Exercise Eagle Eye’, which is aimed at assessing its operational capacity in the fight against internal and external aggression along Nigerian waterways.

The Chief of Naval Policy and Plans, Rear Admiral Jacob Ajani, flagging of the operation, explained that it is set against the backdrop of the increasing myriad of threats and insecurity within and around Nigeria’s maritime domain.

This, according to him, has indeed challenged the operational capacities of the Nigerian Navy.

Ajani explained in detail what the operation would entail.

This is not the first of initiatives carried out to bring an end to sea crime in the Niger-Delta and Gulf of Guinea regions.

In November, ‘Exercise Sharkbite‘, was implemented to also tighten security around choke points in the maritime environment.

The Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral James Oluwole, then explained that Sharkbite was not to inconvenience law abiding seafarers, but to give the assurance that adequate measures are put in place to protect them as well as their properties.

This is coming as pipeline vandalism and high sea criminality in general have appeared to be on the increase.

A group called the Niger Delta Avengers have claimed responsibility for most of the attacks on the oil facilities and there have been several attempts to clamp down on the oil thieves.

However, also in November, traditional leaders and some indigenes of the Niger Delta, presented 16 things they were confident would end militancy and bring development in the region if the government will consider them.

Navy-owned Women Empowerment Centre Opens In Cross River

Women empowermentThe Nigerian Navy has set up a centre for women empowerment in Cross River State to provide training in different skills and give information needed to keep women abreast with their fundamental human rights.

The centre built by the Naval Officers Wives Association is part of the Navy’s commitment towards capacity building of women both military and civilians across Nigeria.

The force says it will empower women to be able to meet up with their counterparts in other developing countries.

At the opening of the centre in Akpabuyo Local Government Area of Cross River State, the wife of the Chief of Naval Staff and President of Naval Officers Wives Association (NOWA), Theresa Ibok-Ette Ibas, reiterated the commitment of the association to ensuring that women are empowered.

Accompanied by members of NOWA in the state and the Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral James Oluwole, the NOWA President said the construction of the centre became necessary in order to help the society address increasing rate of violence against women and children in Nigeria.

“There will be a counseling unit, medical unit and other relevant units at the center to enable us achieve our vision and mission as a non-governmental agency committed to the emancipation of women.

“This secretariat would provide a functional base for NOWA activities such as empowerment of women by organising skill acquisition programmes, seminars, workshops and talks on pertinent issues concerning women,” she explained.

The initiator of the project and leader of the Eastern Naval Command branch of NOWA, Mrs Omotayo Oluwole, told reporters that the centre would also serve as a rehabilitation point for battered women.

She said: “By empowering women through skills training, we believe that our women would be able to stand tall and take their place in the fabrics of this nation. It is also our responsibility to enlighten women on their civil responsibilities and rights to the nation and their families”.

On his part, Rear Admiral Oluwole said the NOWA centre was constructed with the support of the Chief of Naval Staff.

“Without women, our families will not be cared for, as we move around the country to serve. Your role as mothers, wives and sisters is pivotal to societal growth. This is in recognition of that role,” the naval officer told the gathering.

He also urged the women to utilise the centre for the benefit of all navy families and humanity.

The building christened ‘Theresa Ibas Centre’ is in honour of women and meant to also restore dignity to the women folk.

Navy Conducts ‘Exercise Sharkbite’ To Tighten Sea Security

Navy, exercise sharkbite, sea security

The Nigerian Navy has reaffirmed its determination to tighten security around choke points in the maritime environment and the gulf of guinea, with the implementation of ‘Exercise Sharkbite’.

This was made known by the Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral James Oluwole, during a two-day sea exercise.

According to him, exercise sharkbite was not to inconvenience law abiding seafarers, but to give the assurance that adequate measures are put in place to protect them as well as their properties.

A routine preparation was conducted by naval officers of the eastern naval command on board NNS Okpabana, the flag ship of the command for the sea exercise.

Rear admiral Oluwole, explained that the focus of the exercise is to enhance the preparedness of the command against maritime crime and criminality.

According to him, it is expected to “enhance the capacity of the command in the fight against piracy, sea robbery, hijacking, illegal bunkering and crude oil theft, among other maritime crimes, while implementing the directive of zero tolerance to all forms of maritime illegalities on Nigerian waters”.

The exercise which was conducted by four ships include man overboard, target shooting, anti-piracy and air-sea simulation operations.

At the end of the operation, the FOC gave a summary of what had been done and areas where operational improvement would be made.

In his words: “there some areas we noticed that operational improvements should be made, although they are not critical areas that we should worry about.

“The four ships that participated in the exercise were able to go through simulation operation flawlessly, proving that the navy is ready to undertake real life assignments as the need arises.”

Exercise sharkbite is sequel to an exercise earlier conducted at the Armed Forces Simulation Centre Jaji, Kaduna, between October 10 and October 14, 2016.

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.


Nigerian Navy Tests Personnel For Hepatitis B

Nigerian Navy, Hepatitis BThe Nigerian Navy has begun to test its personnel for Hepatitis B at the Eastern Naval Command.

The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral James Oluwole, said that the exercise was part of activities to mark the World Hepatitis Day.

Rear Admiral Oluwole explained that the Navy is committed to ensuring that infected staff get to know their status on time and begin managing it at an earlier stage before its full blown.

He took the lead to be tested at the Headquarters of the command in Calabar, the Cross River State capital in south-south Nigeria.

The FOC stressed the need for personnel to have checkups done at every given point, in order to be abreast of their health challenges and begin treatment immediately.

He added that management of their health must come first for personnel to be able to function effectively.

In his remarks, the Commander of the Nigerian Navy Reference Hospital in Calabar, Surgeon Rear Admiral Abubakar Yusuf, promised that infected personnel would get free treatment towards managing the infection.

He also enlightened the Naval staff on the effects of Hepatitis B, saying it is a potentially life-threatening liver infection if allowed full blown.

Navy Offers Free Health Services To Community In Cross River

Navy, Ugep, Cross RiverThe Nigerian Navy has offered a free medical service to residents of Ugep community of Yakurr Local Government Area in Cross River State.

As part of activities to mark its 50th Anniversary, the Nigerian Navy said the gesture was also part of its social responsibility to the public, especially the vulnerable who cannot afford medical services.

The Medical team was led by Commodore Tanko Pani who represented the Flag Officer Commanding of Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral James Oluwole.

Commodore Pani said attaining the Golden Jubilee was a great feat to the command and giving back to the society was a great way of marking the milestone.

He urged the community to embrace the gesture while promising that the Navy would not relent in its commitment to safeguarding Nigeria’s waterways.

In his remarks, the Commander of the Nigerian Navy Reference Hospital in Calabar, Surgeon Rear Admiral Abubakar Yusuf, described the medical rhapsody as a means of promoting good health among communities.

While some of the beneficiaries, who were at least 50,000 commended the initiative, the Paramount Ruler of Ugep, Obol Opon Offem Ubana, also expressed gratitude to the Navy for choosing his community for the exercise.

The healthcare services rendered include eye screening, distribution of eye glasses as well as referral for surgery if need be.

Other free services were blood pressure checks, diabetes screening, malaria treatment, de-worming, distribution of insecticide treated mosquito nets, drugs, and a health talk.

Ayade Seeks Better Care For Displaced Bakassi People

Ayade, Bakassi peopleCross River State Governor, Ben Ayade says he will continue to draw attention of the world to the pains and agony faced by displaced Bakassi People.

The Governor, who is bitter about the situation, called on the Nigerian Navy to join the state in its quest towards demanding for justice for the Bakassi people who are struggling to survive.

Governor Ayade was speaking when the newly posted Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Naval Command, paid him a visit at his office in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.

Addressing the Naval team on the constant feeling of neglect faced by the internally displaced persons, Governor Ayade said that since their eviction from their ancestral land, they have received no attention from government, but rather attention goes to other internally displaced people in other states.

The Governor noted that Cross Riverians were sad over ceding their land without adequate compensation and their constant cry for help from the Federal Government had not received any positive response.

According to him, the issue of the displaced Bakassi people poses a threat to the state’s internal security which the Navy should also try to address.

The FOC, Rear Admiral James Oluwole, promised to look into the security aspect of the Bakassi issue.

He also hinted the Governor on the command’s proposed affordable housing units for the Navy, which the command wants the state government to also key into.

Nigerian Navy Tasks Personnel On Professionalism

Nigerian NavyOfficers and ratings of the Nigerian Navy have been asked to continuously uphold the ethics of professionalism.

As the Nigerian Navy prepares to mark its 60th anniversary in less than a month, the military personnel have been urged to exhibit discipline in their daily routine.

The appeal was made in Cross River State by the newly posted Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral James Oluwole.

Speaking at his maiden official tour on facilities of the Eastern Naval Command Headquarters in Calabar and Akpabuyo Local Government Area of the state, Rear Admiral Oluwole boasted that the Navy, in its nearly 60 years of existence, has recorded huge successes which must be upheld at all cost.

He promised to build on the legacies his predecessors had left behind, for the betterment of the command throughout his tenure.

The Naval officer also cautioned the personnel of the command against criminal intentions.

He urged the Nigerian Navy to put their mind first on the things that would grow the force and make it outstanding as his tenure would uphold zero tolerance to criminality.