Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa.
In its bid to curb maritime crime in its Area of Responsibility(AOR) the Central Naval Command(CNC) of the Nigerian Navy has called for continuous support from coastal communities.
It has therefore asked for support from traditional rulers and community leaders in order to eradicate maritime threats in the Niger Delta waterways.
The Flag Officer Commanding the Central Naval Command, Rear Admiral Saidu Garba, who stated this in Koluama 2, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa state during the flag-off of the free medical mission in the community said it is only the partnership between the Nigerian Navy and stakeholders in communities that can eradicate maritime crimes.
Garba, who was represented by Rear Admiral Solomon Agada, the Chief Staff Officer of the command said a crime-free waterway will help foster the socio-economic development of the communities.
According to him the medical rhapsody which is part of its end of year activities was a strategic directive from the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ete Ibas, to give back to the host communities.
He said the exercise will further help cement the cordial relationship that exists between their personnel and their host communities.
His words “The Central Naval Command chose to bring the exercise this time to Koluama community which host our Naval Outpost due to Koluama’s strategic importance to the Command’s operations for security of water ways and to further demonstrate the commitment of the Chief of the Naval Staff and indeed Nigerian Navy’s efforts at sustaining harmonious relationship with our peace loving host Koluama community.
“The exercise would provide an avenue to sensitize members of the communities on topical health issues as well as provide free medical consultation, treatment and other medical activities which would have positive impact on their health and wellbeing.”
In his remarks, the traditional ruler of the community, HRH Amakoeo Osaisai, who lauded the Navy for the kind gesture, said the community has no functional health care center or hospital.
He said the people have to traveled to Yenagoa, the state capital, which is a distance of about three hours on a speed boat, to access medical services.
HRH Osaisia, called on other agencies, state and federal government to come to their aid by providing functional hospital, Doctors and Nurses to the community.