Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Nigerian Navy has commenced a 90-day maritime offensive tagged Operation DOUBENI II in the Niger Delta region.
The operation launched by the Central Navy Command (CNC) of the Nigerian Navy is aimed at conducting evolutions to curb criminal maritime activities within the CNC Area of Responsibility (AOR) and make the area crime-free for economic exploratory activities for enhanced national development.
The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) of the CNC, Rear Admiral Saidu Garba, who flagged off the operation from the Nigerian Port Authority Jetty, Warri, explained that the operation was to consolidate on the impressive achievements recorded by the Nigerian Navy during the conduct of Operation CALM WATERS which was activated in May 2019 to deter planned agitations within and around Nigeria’s maritime environment.
According to Garba, Operation CALM WATERS has to a large extent contributed to the reduction in reported incidents of sea robbery, piracy, illegal bunkering, smuggling, illegal refinery and other maritime crimes within Nigerian waters.
While disclosing that within the period of the operation, the Nigerian Navy recorded a total of 27,918 hours of sea patrol which resulted in the arrest of 31 vessels and 357 persons suspected to be engaged in maritime illegalities, he added that naval bases cumulatively neutralised a total of 186 illegal refineries with 2,036 metal tanks and ovens, seizing a total of 23,102,900 litres of illegally sourced products.