Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
The Nigerian Navy operating in the Niger Delta weekend concluded its intra-command swimming competition, comprising mainly military personnel from Bayelsa and Delta states.
The event which took place in Yenagoa, had in attendance, team headquarters, team Delta, Lugard and Soroh during which team Delta emerged tops.
It featured freestyle, backstroke, butterfly, medley relay among other styles which the Navy said was to ascertain its men’s capability while patrolling the waterways of the region.
At the end of the event, team Delta clinched 12 gold, five silver and one bronze, the Headquarters, Central Naval Command, Yenagoa, won five silver and two bronze while NNS Soroh came third with one silver and five bonze.
Speaking during the event, the Flag Officer Commanding, Central Naval Command, Rear Admiral Saidu Garba, said the exercise was to pick the best swimmers at the Central Naval Command.
“Swimming is not just because of the profession, but it is a survival asset. We are surrounded by water and the CNS has directed that all naval personnel must learn to swim.
“It is also now a condition for promotion. So, they must have the minimum required standard,” he said.
He said there will soon be an inter-command competition to get the overall best in the military.
He said it was not just about the level of fitness , but that the exercise also provides an environment for comradeship and friendship in the military.
Special Guest of Honour, Air Vice Marshal, Peter Uzezi, Air Officer Commanding, Mobility Command, Nigerian Air Force, said he was optimistic that the exercise will help harness the talents in the navy to fight crime in the Niger Delta.
“I have observed the capabilities of the Nigeria Navy in the Niger Delta, focusing on various operations to curtail criminalities. These are laudable ways to develop personnel.
” I believe that this competition will enhance effectiveness of personnel in discharge of your duties and assist in developing confidence, physical fitness for optimum performance.
“This a wonderful initiative as this helps in harnessing collective talents of the personnel who took part” he said.
During the three-day event which featured collaboration with sister agencies, including the police, the Joint Task Force in the Niger Delta and the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) the navy urged its men to henceforth take the issue of physical and mental health seriously.