By Christopher Oji
Inspector- General of Police (IGP) Umsan Alkali Baba, has ordered the deployment of five police gunboats for the riverine areas ahead of next years’s election. The IGP said the five newly acquired gunboats would also be useful for the distribution of election materials to riverine communities in the South-West Region. Baba gave this assurance on Friday while commissioning gunboats for the Marine Department of the force in Lagos . The IGP who was accompanied by the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, noted that there was an increase in the movement of people and goods along the nation’s back waters. He revealed that the increase in human activities along the waterways would also bring about increase in criminalities on the country’s waters.
“We are in the Ember month which is also a volatile period. Aside, we are also approaching the 2023 general elections. These newly acquired gunboats will go a long way in ensuring that the police deliver on their constitution responsibility, which is to maintain law and order in all parts of the country. We are going to deploy the gunboats for election duties.”
The IGP also assured of the prompt maintenance of the gunboats, adding that there is an existing synergy between the force and the Nigerian Navy.
“The Marine Police has come a long way since its creation. It is operational in about 22 states with navigational waters, coastal states and the Lake Chad basin. The Marine police have helped in combating violent crimes like sea robberies, piracy, kidnapping and other crimes along the water channels.” Also speaking at the commissioning, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, commended the efforts of the IGP, saying that the presence of the police on the country’s backwaters would add to curb criminalities on waters.