The Nigerian Navy (NN) last Saturday charged its personnel to stay away from drugs in order to perform their assigned tasks optimally.
Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Naval Training Command (NAVTRAC), Rear Admiral Stanfford Enoch, gave the charge after the quarterly 10km route march designed to test the physical and mental fitness of officers and ratings of the NN.
The FOC who was represented by the Chief Staff Officer (CSO), Rear Admiral Idowu Yusuf said the charge was necessary given the scourge of drug abuse the country was currently battling.
He also charged them on the need to be psychologically, physically and mentally alert at all times.
Enoch also warned the operatives to avoid practices, actions that could bring the navy to disrepute including flaunting traffic laws in any part of the country especially Lagos.
He said the command would not hesitate to sanction any of its operatives caught disobeying traffic laws, reminding them that the military uniform does not give them immunity from punishment if they commit any crime.
On the route march, the FOC said the exercise which brings all units and formations under the command together once a quarter was in line with directives from the Naval Headquarters.
He said the aim was to assess their physical fitness, mental alertness, stamina and psychological disposition, applauding the about 1,000 personnel who partook in it for exhibiting combat readiness.
He said, “Let me start by saying bravo zulu to the entire command for the impressive turnout for this exercise. It shows that personnel of the command are physically, mentally and psychologically fit and can be called upon at anytime to carry out the duty required of it.
“We went for roughly 10km march and nobody fell or broke down. It is good and shows that we are alert. I want to encourage you all to do more sports at your convenience.
“Sports is life. Naval personnel fight mostly on water and so, must go the extra mile to ensure physical fitness in order not to fall short on any assignment given.
“I want to also reiterate the command’s position on discipline. You must carry yourselves in that light and avoid getting involved in anything that could smear the image of the navy. Stay away from drug abuse. You cannot perform optimally if you are on drugs.”
The route march began from the command headquarters in Harbour Road, Apapa and extended to Costain and back.
The Western Naval Command (WNC) also had its quarterly route march inside Navy Town Ojo which was led by the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Rear Admiral Oladele Daji.
According to Daji 2,184 ratings and 165 officers participated in the march that commenced from the Naval Air Base, Ojo, which served to boost public confidence.
He said, “Nigeria Navy Ship (NNS) WEY, Western Fleet, NNS BEECROFT, Navy Reference hospital, among others participated in this route march. In the face of the current security challenges in the country, the need to keep personnel fit for operations cannot be overemphasised.
“That is why fitness and mental alertness are among the critical elements of the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas’ policy thrust.
“It is with this in mind that the Nigerian Navy organise a-day route march every quarter aimed at raising the level of physical fitness of personnel in the command.”