By Bassey Inyang
As part of the celebration of the 64th anniversary of the Nigerian Navy, the Eastern Naval Command has presented commendation awards to outstanding officers and distributed palliatives to some of its host communities in Cross River State.
In an address, the Flag Officer Commander (FOC), Rear Admiral D. A Adeniran, while speaking at a ceremony, stressed the importance of awarding officers who have done very well in their different beats.
Adeniran said that this will boost their ego and make others to be steadfast in carrying out their various duties.
According to him, the distribution of palliatives is essential at this point as it is Eastern Naval Command’s effort to cushion the effect of Covid-19 on the communities.
The items distributed to the communities included rice, vegetable oil, masks, hand gloves, sanitizer etc.
The FOC presented three awards in category of gold, silver and bronze to three officers who merited them.
Among the awardees was Mohammed Mubarak of the NNS VICTORY, Calabar, who received the gold medal for displaying gallantry and marksmanship during an encounter with bandits that robbed Uddyking filling station and were fleeing with the looted cash.
The FOC said despite coming under fire from the robbery gang without warning, Mubarak maintained uncommon calm and courage as he returned fire in the defence of himself and a passerby, stressing that his courage and marksmanship, even in adverse conditions, led to the killing of the five-man gang and seizure of their weapons.
Some of the communities that benefitted from the palliatives were Nyahasang, Nko, Big Qua, Akpabuyo and Akaha Ekong Atimbo, among others.
Speaking on behalf of the benefitting communities, Chief Alex Ekpeyong of Akaha Ekong Atimbo community commended the kind gesture of the Nigerian Navy in giving back to their respective host communities.
According to him, ‘’We have enjoyed the presence of Navy so much. In my community, we have borehole courtesy of Navy and we enjoy maximum security because those hoodlums are afraid of the Navy.”
Ekpenyong assured the FOC that the items received will be judiciously distributed to the most vulnerable in the communities.