Chief of Naval Staff , Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, said that the Nigerian Navy is full alert to protect Nigeria’s unity in the event of any form of threat generated by the activities of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB). Ete Ibas disclosed this in Abuja during the Nigerian Navy 3rd Quarter Route March, at the Mogadishu Cantonment. He said the Navy is fully mobilised to maintain the country’s internal security from the maritime domain.
Th e Naval chief assured that there was no cause for alarm over any tension as the service was carrying out its constitutional duties to protect the nation from the seas. He said Naval Special Operations in the Southern part of the country was combat ready to protect Nigeria from the maritime area, and emphasised that all would be done for “our economy to boom and for development to come to the country.”
He noted that the route march was part of the service eff orts at keeping personnel physically and mentally fi t to carry out their constitutional duties. “Even without tasking, we are fully deployed in internal security situations as required by the constitution and for our own peculiar environment, the maritime environment, “he said.
Ete Ibas that the route march was not a parade to respond to the IPOB agitations or threats, insisting that it was meant to keep personnel fi t in their line of engagement. He also denied that the exercise was carried out in line with the Defence Headquarters’ directive to military services to tackle IPOB’s threats.
‘•••Arrests six foreigners for stealing diesel
Operatives of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS), Victory of the Nigerian Navy, at the weekend in Calabar arrested six Bangladesh nationals and 16 Nigerians for allegedly diverting 22 metric tonnes of diesel in an illegal Ship to Ship (STS) transfer along the Calabar water channel. Commander of the naval ship, Commodore Salihu Ibn Danhu Jibril, disclosed this while addressing journalists on board the vessel along the Calabar Channel before handing over the suspects and vessel to the Nigerian Police.
He said the vessel, NV Princess Oge, which brought the product from off shore Lome to deliver to a tank farm in Calabar was discovered carrying out the illegal activity and immediately arrested. Jibril said the Princess Oge was a bunkering ship given permission to deliver and discharge cargo in Calabar. He said: “Along the way, she was found to have found transfer to ship transfer illegally to another ship and consequently we arrested the ship.
“She was arrested and brought here and having conducted our investigation and found their operation in line with our harmonised standard procedures for illegal activities in the marine environment, we are formally handing over the ship, crew and cargo to the Nigerian Police for further investigation and prosecution. “Th e suspects include 22 persons of diff erent nationalities. We have six from Bangladesh and 16 Nigerians.
“Th e vessel was given permission to move AGO cargo to Calabar. In line with extant regulations, we are handing them over to the police. “Th e quantity that was diverted illegally was 22 metric tonnes missing from the initial cargo that she was supposed to deliver from what she took at the port of intake. “Th e port of intake was off shore Lome, and is supposed to one of the tank farms in Calabar.”