Maritime Security: Bayelsa demands its fair share of Naval formations, facilities

Create: 11/14/2016 - 16:46

Bayelsa State Government on Monday restated its call for increased collaboration and support for the Nigerian Navy to enable the agency effectively police the Niger Delta region and the Nation’s territorial waters.
It also appealed to the Navy to carry the state along, especially in the distribution of its formations, equipment and infrastructure, to enhance the operational efficiency of naval personnel in the state.

Bayelsa State Government on Monday restated its call for increased collaboration and support for the Nigerian Navy to enable the agency effectively police the Niger Delta region and the Nation’s territorial waters.
It also appealed to the Navy to carry the state along, especially in the distribution of its formations, equipment and infrastructure, to enhance the operational efficiency of naval personnel in the state.

Speaking while receiving the Chief of Naval Staff in Government House, Yenagoa, the state Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (Retd) noted that, the call has become more imperative in view of the increasing level of sophistication, with which the criminal elements carry out their nefarious activities in the maritime environment of the country.

Rear Admiral John Jonah, who described the Nigerian Navy as the only national establishment that has the responsibility, resources and training to keep the maritime space safe, urged all stakeholders to give legitimate support to the agency’s fight against crude oil theft, piracy and other crimes in the waterways.

While thanking the Chief of Naval Staff and his team for the visit, the Deputy  Governor also commended officers and ratings of the Navy for their contributions, towards the  prevailing peace and security in Bayelsa.
Rear Admiral John Jonah, who was also full of appreciation for the Nigerian Navy for immortalising Late Rear Admiral Nelson Bossman Soroh by naming one of its formations as NNS Soroh, said the gesture would go a long way in motivating serving naval personnel to give their best in serving the nation.

He, however, called on the Navy to increase its presence in the state by deploying more mobile stations and machinery to enhance its operations in Bayelsa, which he described as the ,most riverine state in the entire country.
His words: “Let me also use this opportunity to publicly commend the Nigerian Navy for its efforts to immortalise one of our heroes, Rear Admiral Nelson Bossman Soroh, who gave his best, in serving our country.I thank you all for recognizing his contributions by naming a base NNS Soroh.

“On the issue of mobile stations, Bayelsa State needs more of those stations than other areas, because it is more riverine than any other state.  This is the centre of gravity, so we appeal for a special attention.
“I know it is not easy to have those mobile platforms.  But, let’s make sure that, we continue to mount pressure on the management of the system.

Earlier, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas said his visit to the state was in continuation of an ongoing nationwide inspection tour of naval bases, equipment and establishments.
While congratulating Governor Seriake Dickson, his Deputy and Bayelsans on the recent Supreme Court judgement, that validated the governor’s re-election, the Chief of Naval Staff also expressed gratitude to the state government for the donation of a 100-hectare land and gunboats to the Nigerian Navy.

Vice Admiral Ibas promised to make good use of the donations and assured that, the Navy would be more proactive in its approach to curbing criminality in the nation’s maritime environment.
He said, “I want to thank you for the support you have provided the Nigerian Navy, since our arrival here both in terms of logistics and welfare support to our bases.

“You are aware, that we have extended our bases and units to create mobile stations, which enable us to be closer to the people to fully cover the flashpoints that we have identified.  We are also in the process of creating additional choke points.  We want to believe that once those areas are well manned and policed, we will be able to reduce criminality.