Naval Ship, Crew Deployed to Oust Jammeh Return to Lagos


Chiemelie Ezeobi

The entire crew of the Nigerian Navy Ship  (NNS) UNITY, who were deployed to oust former President of The Gambia, Yayha Jammeh, monday returned to Naval Dockyard Limited, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The trip to The Gambia, was the first for NNS UNITY since it was inaugurated into the naval fleet last December by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Although Jammeh had relinquished power by the time the warship entered The Gambia’s waters through Dakar, Senegal, it however remained in the waters for several days in case of any eventuality.

Receiving the ship and its crew, the Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) Vice Admiral Ibok-Ette Ibas, expressed joy that the ship’s company all returned home hail and healthy.

Represented by the Chief of Logistics, Rear Admiral Tariworio Dick, the CNS commended them for participating in a joint sea exercise in Ghana with the Ghanaian Navy, noting that the experiences gained would enhance maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea (GOG).

He said: “The mission you went for was very important to the navy and the nation. The ship was sailed to Dakar to position and join other West African countries for any possible operation to ensure peace in The Gambia.

“We believe that the presence of the ship in Dakar contributed to the surrendering of the past administration in The Gambia.

“The vessel stayed back and patrolled for sometime to ensure there was peace and stability before it was eventually called up. It sailed to join other ECOWAS forces contributed to achieving peace and stability.

“On its way back to the country, the vessel made a port call in Ghana and had a joint exercise with Ghanaian Navy aimed at enhancing security in the GOG.

“The trip was successful from naval perspective. Its positioning in Dakar contributed to security calculations that would have compelled the situation in The Gambia to change.”

Also, the Flag Officer Commanding  (FOC) Western Naval Command (WNC), Rear Admiral Fergusson Bobai, said the ship performed all three major roles of the navy- military, policing and diplomatic.

Bobai who was represented by the Chief Staff Officer (CSO) WNC, Rear Admiral Thaddeus Udofia, said diplomatic negotiations dominated the whole trip, which was why no single shot was fired in the course of the operation.