By Christopher Oji
Ahead of 2023 General Elections, the Inspector- General of Police (IGP) Umsan Alkali Baba, has ordered the deployment of five police gunboats for for the reverine areas.
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 fgunboats 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 2923 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 has helped in combating violent crimes like sea robberies, piracy, kidnapping and other crimes along the water channels.
“The Lagos waters being the busiest is one of the nation’s largest waterfront with adequate police presence geared towards securing and safeguarding the waterfront, the littoral environment and the citizens from violent crimes with the peculiarity of the state and it’s verst population, the level of water related crimes is different when compared to other states” he added
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 cub criminalities on waters.
He said the police gunboat would ensure that maritime threat would be reduced.
“The navy has been on patrolling the nation’s water and will always do so. In addition, the Nigerian Navy has concluded the chatting of the nation’s waters. This will aid effective patrol” he added