Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
The Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, has said yesterday that the Nigerian Navy remains the most apolitical security agency in the country, and commended them for the dispassionate manner their officers conducted themselves during the last election.
A statement by the Special Adviser to Dickson on Media Relations, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, said the governor spoke while paying a courtesy call on the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ete Ibas.
The governor also praised the CNS and indeed the leadership of the service for the exemplary conduct of naval personnel during the last general elections in the country.
He added that naval personnel carried out their sensitive security responsibilities during the elections with strict adherence to their terms of engagement, professionalism, integrity, and indeed, a high display of competence.
The governor who said that he and the political leadership were proud of the Navy, prayed that the tradition of professionalism, integrity and competence was sustained in the service and indeed observed by other services in the country.
He said: “I want to single out your men for commendation on a very crucial issue. I have written to your office and I think it is also proper that I mention it here also. You are aware of the controversy that followed the last elections over the activities of some agencies. Your officers and men carried out their duties with dedication and integrity.
“As a state, we don’t have any complaints against your men. We are very pleased, we are proud of the Navy under your leadership. We pray that this spirit of professionalism, integrity and competence continue in the Navy, and other services of the Armed Forces. We are indeed pleased with the services of the Navy, the activities and performance of your men”.
Dickson stressed that the efforts of the Navy had resulted in curbing maritime crime such as piracy, kidnapping, crude oil theft, illegal bunkering and related crimes in the water ways.
According to him, the water ways of Bayelsa are the safest in the country mostly due to the collaborative efforts of the Navy.
He thanked the federal government for the establishment of the Central Naval Command, Yenagoa, the NNS Soroh, the NNS FORMOSO, and other naval formations in the state.
He promised to hand over the land required for the permanent sites of the naval formation to the service as soon as the issues around them were perfected.
Dickson also promised to give the requisite support to the successful establishment of a major project of the Navy, the Falcon Eye Project in the state.
He also called for better funding of the Armed Forces and the Security agencies to enable them effectively carry out their responsibilities of securing the country.
In his remarks, Ete-Ibas commended Dickson for giving the requisite support to the Navy to aid the performance of its duties in the maritime sector.
He said that the Navy would be encouraged to do more in curbing maritime crime with support from geographical locations benefitting from its services.
The CNS agreed with the governor that there was indeed a drop in insecurity in the maritime sector because of the support and sustained efforts of the Navy.
The Navy Chief warned against illegal crude oil refining, theft of crude oil, and the effect on the environment.