Tony John, Port Harcourt
The Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, has hinted that the Nigerian Armed Forces were in critical operational and security engagements to fight Boko Haram, Niger Delta militancy and economic saboteurs.
Also, the Nigerian Navy has gotten 250 boats and other offshore patrol vessels to aid its efforts in the fight against sea pirates and oil thieves in the Niger Delta region.
General Olonisakin disclosed this yesterday, at the Passing Out Parade and Commissioning Ceremony of 200 Cadet Officers at the Nigerian Naval College, Onne, Rivers State.
Also, he commended President Muhammadu Buhari, for providing the necessary support to the security agencies in the fight against insurgents and other criminal elements in the country.
Olonisakin, who was the Review Officer, stated that the Federal Government was worried over the spate of criminal activities in the nation’s maritime domain, stating that the military vessels would assist the Navy in its effort.
He also commended the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, for his efforts in repositioning the Service in the areas of training and facilities.
The CDS stated that the Nigerian Navy had continued to champion the maintenance of internal security in the country, adding that the force is fully involved in assisting sister agencies in ensuring security.
He said: “This has warranted critical operational and security engagements of the armed forces of Nigeria across different theatres.
“I am glad to note that in addition to assisting sister Services in the North East operations against the Boko Haram insurgents, the Nigerian Navy has continued to spearhead internal security operations in the Niger Delta region against militants, pirates, operators of illegal refineries and crude oil thieves.
“Expectedly, significant successes have been achieved by the Service, either alone or in collaboration with other security forces at curtailing the excesses of these miscreants.
“Maintaining these successes will be tasking and will require developing appropriate knowledge, skills, and attitude through on-the-job training on board and ashore as well as pragmatic training in all naval training institutions.
He said: “As can be observed, the Nigerian Navy has matched intent with practical steps, evident by the ongoing fleet expansion programme that has led to the acquisition of several offshore patrol vessels, Seaward Defence Boats and induction of over 250 Riverine Patrol Boats.
“There has equally been substantial infrastructural and manpower development as well as forging of strategic collaborations with regional and more advanced navies. These efforts are targeted at enhancing the Nigerian Navy’s capacity to effectively secure the nation.”
He noted that President Buhari expects total obedience of the newly commissioned officers, charging the 200 personnel to be diligent in their discharge of duty.