Bassey Inyang in Calabar
The Chief of the Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, has stated that the navy would leave no stone unturned in the implementation of the presidential directive to all service chiefs and the Chief of Defence Staff to return peace and security to the country and enable Nigerians to go about their daily activities without fear of being attacked by violent criminals.
Gambo stated this in Calabar while addressing officers and ratings when he visited the Eastern Naval Command (ENC) at the weekend, added that the navy under his watch would stop at nothing in flushing out bad eggs from its midst.
He warned that the activities of all naval personnel would be under close surveillance and anyone caught to be colluding with criminal elements in the society would be apprehended, punished and shown the way out.
He said: “The President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has commanded us to return peace and security to our citizens to enable them move around and do their businesses without fear. Team work, professionalism and integrity will be required from all to achieve this.
“The core values of the Nigerian Navy should be upheld by officers and ratings. Discipline remains the foundation of military service. I shall continue to monitor your activities. I shall not hesitate to relieve, without notice, the appointment of anyone found wanting.
“This includes those who collude with economic saboteurs, bandits and armed robbers. At the same vein, those who portray the Nigerian navy in good light shall be rewarded handsomely.
“I, therefore, urge you all to live up to expectations and perform your assigned responsibilities diligently. If you cannot perform your responsibility as expected it will result in your immediate replacement with more competent hands. Welfare of all naval personnel shall be taken seriously.”
Gambo told journalists that the Nigerian Navy would abide by the contents of the proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Nigeria and countries within the Gulf of Guinea Commission when it becomes functional.
He said the officers and ratings of the navy are doing everything necessary to secure Nigeria’s territorial waters, including its maritime territories that fall within the Gulf of Guinea.
“The Nigerian navy has been doing its job at curbing insecurity like sea robbery, piracy, including crude oil theft and all other illicit crimes in maritime space. The additional efforts we are making are in the acquisition of more platforms. We are expecting more platforms and we intend to fill the gaps operationally where we observe gaps because our operations are dynamic and we re-strategise as the challenges vary.
“We have just begun the Obangame Exercise with the friends of Gulf of Guinea, the countries in the Gulf of Guinea Commission as well as other international partners like the United States of America, France and Britain. There has been so much hype about situations in the Gulf of Guinea by the social media but the situation in the Gulf of Guinea is not as bad as it is being portrayed but we are securing the Gulf of Guinea area of our various platforms,” he said.
Gambo noted that most of the crimes that took place in the Gulf of Guinea were not necessarily within the Nigerian waters as most them are perpetrated outside the 200 Exclusive Economic Zones, which belongs to Nigeria and available for international ships.
“To that effect and under my administration, I am planning that the MoU which we are supposed to sign with countries in the Gulf of Guinea Commission is signed so that collectively everybody would be available to patrol with us because most of the efforts is being carried out by Nigeria, including the requirement of fuelling, which is a huge capital outlay,” he said.