The Nigerian Navy said, on Wednesday, that it has arrested 26 vessels between July 2017 and 2018 and has handed over the vessels to the prosecuting authorities.
The outgoing Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Sylvanus Abbah, made the revelation while handing over the reign of command to the new FOC, Rear Admiral Obed Ngalabak, explaining that criminals within the country’s water ways have abandoned their stronghold following increased naval patrols.
Adm. Abbah said that within the last 14 months the Western Naval Command had collectively been unflappable while serving in a very challenging maritime environment.
The FOC said the navy has tackled the traffic gridlock within the Apapa area headlong and has been able to achieve tremendous success following a directive by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
He said that the force is working assiduously to ensure that vehicular movement is not hindered by articulated vehicle which has besieged the Apapa area.
He lamented the use of “area boys” to disturb the good works of naval personnel, whom he said work day and night to ensure that traffic flows and the gridlock eased.
“Before now lawlessness was the order of the day in Apapa general area, and we came together as a people.
“We called all the stakeholders and addressed them and we agreed that something has to be done and we did something and the road were free and suddenly some people started a protest that the navy was disrupting their business and we pull out and the gridlock returned.
“Then the Vice President came to Lagos and reconstituted the taskforce and now normalcy has returned,” he noted.
Adm. Abbah commended the operation of the Naval personnel in removing heavy duty trucks from the right of way of other road user and also working to ensure peace in other parts of the country
His words, “As a duty to the nation, we have also committed own personnel to land based security challenged areas in faraway terrains like Jos, Maiduguri, Lake Chad and other volatile areas occasioned by the Boko Haram menace.”
He said that in the Areas of Responsibility of the Western Naval Command, several maritime crimes and illegalities have been vigorously curtailed by personnel of the force despite inadequate platforms, patrol boats, arms and ammunition.