Vice-Admiral Ibok Ette Ibas
Nigerian Navy has vowed to end pipeline vandalism and incessant oil theft in the Niger Delta region in the coming months with the successful refurbishment of some of its old vessels and the acquisition of new ones.
This feat has enabled the Navy to increase the rate of patrol, surveillance rate in the country maritime waters especially in the Bight of Guinea axis which extends to most of the waters in the Niger Delta region.
This was disclosed by the Chief of Naval Staff Vice-Admiral Ibok Ette- Ibas at the unveiling of the remodelled headquarters of the Nigerian Navy Ship NNS Warri, Delta State.
Represented by Rear Admiral Saidu Garba, the Flag Officer Commanding the Western Naval Command, the Naval Chief assured that with this milestone the navy was more than prepared and empowered to end the oil theft and pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta.
A Nigerian Navy Patrol Boat
According to the Navy chief, the internal and territorial waters are set to be fully secure and protected. With the new deployment of surveillance technology, most of the activities of pirates and crude oil thieves will be contained.
“Our patrols in the waters have been re-invigorated. We have an almost permanent presence in the sea. This means we have not left any room for any thieves and sea pirates to operate, He said.
“Obviously with our presence, they will now have to look for other means to operate. The saying is that control is patrol and patrol is control. We will ensure that our persistence patrol will enable us to control the maritime domain”.
Ibas, the Naval chief also used the opportunity to warned naval personnel against involvement in politics saying as a statutory responsibility they must not be seen to be associating with any political party as t is against their professional ethics.
“Our second statutory responsibility is to ensure that when called upon we give sufficient security to our INEC officials that will be going into the waters. Obviously, they must require security, therefore our presence there will enable them to deliver their electoral materials as required.
The navy chief warned anyone especially the youths who attempt to compromise their men and officers for illegal acts vowing that such solicitations will be rebuffed and the persons arrested.
“Do not come close to any of our personnel for any form of political assistance. Anyone coming for such assistance we are going to arrest him because it is against our regulations.
“They should ensure that they go about their democratic rights to vote without any form of violence. We will call upon to assist any civil authority in ensuring that law and order are maintained during the election period, He stressed.