Buhari Reviews Naval Fleet, Says Nigeria’s Military Combat Ready
By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed confidence that the incoming administration of President-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu would continue to provide crucial support to the Nigerian Navy, maintaining the positive trajectory achieved during his own tenure.
Speaking on Monday at the Presidential Fleet Review held at the Naval Dockyard Limited, Victoria Island, Lagos, possibly the last by him in his capacity as President and Commander-in-Chief, the President expressed immense satisfaction with the array of naval assets on display and combat readiness of the Nigerian military.
Recognizing the nation’s pride in the navy’s numerous achievements during his eight-year administration, the President stated:
‘‘I have no doubt that the incoming administration of President-elect, His Excellency, Bola Ahmed Tinubu will sustain the current tempo of my administration in giving the Navy necessary support to effectively carry out its assigned tasks.
‘‘My best wishes to our Navy for protecting our maritime domain and the economic prosperity of Nigeria. As I leave office on 29th May, I wish you all fair winds. ONWARD TOGETHER and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.’’
The President stated that he had no doubt that under Tinubu’s leadership, the Navy would continue to acquire new assets, expand shipbuilding for export purposes, promote indigenous production, intensify the fight against piracy, and address issues pertaining to crude oil theft in Nigeria’s maritime domain.
He noted the significant reduction in piracy over the past seven years, leading to Nigeria’s removal from the list of piracy-prone countries by the International Maritime Bureau in March 2022.
He applauded the application of technology in securing the maritime domain, which facilitated intelligence-driven deployment of naval ships and enhanced their effectiveness.
The President specifically commended the diligent prosecution of MT HEROIC IDUN, which was detected and apprehended for attempting to load crude oil without authorization offshore Bonny in August 2022.
He noted that this successful interdiction further reaffirmed the navy’s commitment to protecting the country’s resources.
Buhari, who acknowledged the significance of the diverse ships and helicopters on display, noted that it symbolized the nation’s maritime power and its preparedness to carry out the Navy’s constitutional roles.
Praising the impressive combat displays staged by elements of the Nigerian Navy Special Boat Service, alongside a combination of assets from the Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Air Force, he said:
‘‘I expect this to translate into actual capability to dominate Nigeria’s maritime environment and secure the vast resources therein for the socio-economic development of our great country.’’
Furthermore, the President highlighted the strong link between maritime security and economic prosperity.
Given that the maritime environment serves both as a storehouse of resources as well as medium for maritime transport in the country, he stressed the importance of the safe and secure utilization of these resources to drive national prosperity and support Nigeria’s aspirations for a thriving Blue Economy.
On the administration’s efforts in recapitalizing the Navy Fleet in the last seven years, the President listed the acquisition of 20 capital ships for the Navy, comprising encompassing Offshore Patrol Vessels, Landing Ship Transports, Hydrographic Survey Vessels, Seaward Defence Boats, helicopters, as well as over 300 Inshore Patrol Vessels and Assault Craft.
During the Fleet Review, Buhari also inaugurated several notable additions to the Navy’s fleet, including a new helicopter, NN410, manufactured in Italy, as well as the landing ship transport NNS KADA, constructed in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.
He thanked the People’s Republic of China for the generous donation of NNS IBENO, highlighting the importance of mutual military cooperation with partner nations, which has also encouraged local shipbuilding efforts by the Nigerian Navy.
He declared that the Nigeria Navy’s endeavors in indigenous shipbuilding, in line with the nation’s local content development plan, have yielded positive outcomes.
‘‘Our naval engineers were wholly responsible for building 3 Seaward Defence Boats namely, NNS ANDONI, NNS KARADUWA and NNS OJI. In December 2021, I performed keel laying foundation for the construction of 2 Seaward Defence Boats, which will be ready by 2024.
‘‘At this rate, I have no doubt that our Navy will soon commence construction of larger ships for itself and other navies in the region and beyond.
‘‘This achievement is a great pride to Nigeria and an impressive contribution to national development,’’.
On the theme for the 2023 Fleet Review, “Fleet Readiness for National Prosperity,” the President explained that it emphasizes the Navy’s ability to respond to threats in maritime spaces and the Gulf of Guinea, highlighting its pivotal role in promoting national prosperity.
He commended the Navy for effectively deploying these vessels, resulting in successes in combating crude oil theft, conducting counter-drug operations, and addressing piracy.
He also expressed gratitude to the Government and people of Lagos State, as well as other maritime stakeholders, for their crucial support in facilitating the Fleet Review.
He added that more than half of Nigeria’s maritime trade passes through Lagos ports, which serves as a lifeline for the nation’s industry and economy, fostering cordial working relations becomes even more imperative.
The President congratulated the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, and the entire naval personnel for their exceptional organization of this historic event.
Troops Destroy Illegal 47 Refineries, Apprehend 65 Suspects – DHQ
The Defence Headquarters says troops of Operation Delta Safe (OPDS) have destroyed 47 illegal refining sites, and apprehended 65 suspected oil thieves and other criminals in the last two weeks.
The Director, Defence Media Operation, Maj.-Gen. Musa Danmadami, said this on Thursday in Abuja at the bi-weekly news conference on the operations of the armed forces.
Danmadami said the troops had sustained the tempo in the war against oil theft, illegal refineries and other criminal activities through aggressive raid, patrol as well as clearance operations amongst others.
He said the troops recovered 186,000 litres of crude oil, 42,750 litres of Automotive Gas Oil, 4,500 litres of Premium Motor Spirit and 200 litres Dual Purpose Kerosine.
The spokesman said that 250 storage tanks, 220 ovens, 32 dugout pits, 31 wooden boats, one gas welding cylinder, and one pocking gas were recovered.
Others are two gas burners, two gas gauge, two adjustable spanners, one pumping machine and four outboards engines.
Danmadami said the troops also recovered 300 ammunitions, 15 AK47 magazines, 211 mobile phones, three vehicles, 100 wraps of suspected cannabis sativa, three and four pinches among others.
He said the troops had on May 18, raided a suspected criminals house at Ibaa community in Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers.
“All recovered items and apprehended suspected criminals have been handed over to the relevant authority for further action.
“Equally, it is worthy to mention that a total of N604.4 million was denied the oil thieves.
“The air component on May 18, conducted air interdiction operation at Krakrama active with illegal refining activities.
“Accordingly, the location was struck, with several illegal refined products and equipment destroyed in the air strike,” he said.
In the South East, Danmadami said the troops of Operation UDO KA continued to clamp down on the Indigenous People of Biafra, Eastern Security Network terrorist and other criminalities in the zone.
He said the troops neutralised five terrorists and apprehended nine suspects, as well as recovered several arms, ammunition and other items during the period.
In the South West, he said the troops of Operation AWATSE apprehended 26 suspected criminals and recovered one locally made pistol, three cartridges, 280gm of tramadol and two bottles of codeine. (NAN)
Tinubu ‘ll Change Security Architecture, NSA Assures
By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja
President Bola Tinubu, Thursday met with the Service Chiefs and heads of security and intelligence agencies and told them that he would change the security architecture in the country to to blend with his phIlosophy to address the insecurity challenges across the federation.
The President also said as far as he is concerned, ‘Nigeria should not go on her knees as a result of security challenges while ather countries are working, moving forward and recording tremendous achievements.’
Tinubu stated this in his maiden official meeting with Security and intelligence heads led by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor at the Presidential Villa, Abuja as the the National Security Adviser, NSA, Major Gen.Babagana Monguno (retd), who briefed State House correspondents after the meeting that lasted two hours, said the President has directed heads of security agencies to come out with their blue prints.
He ordered the security agencies to crush anyone involved in oil theft, stressing that his administration will not tolerate such menace.
“He is going to embark on a lot of reforms in terms of our security architecture, he is going to take a closer look at our misfortunes in the maritime domain, focusing particularly on the issues of oil theft, that as far as he is concerned, he is not going to tolerate oil theft Wherever the problem is coming from it must be crushed as soon as possible,” he stated.
He has already mandated the security agencies to come up with a blueprint as far as he knows and as far as he concerned, he doesn’t have the luxury of time. And whatever changes will be made have to be done as soon as possible.
“The President also has decided that what ever ventures the armed forces are going to be engaged in, they must carry along those operatives in the theatre. They must be well fed, well kitted, motivated and given all that they require.
He said it was an appraisal meeting for the President to get briefing on the activities of the different security formations and for him to tell them his own philosophy and what he expects from the security heads.
He said, “The President and Commander in Chief of the armed forces has just concluded a meeting of the general security appraisal committee consisting of the Chief of Staff service chiefs Inspector General of Police, and heads of the intelligence agencies.
“This is the very first meeting he’s had with the heads of the security agencies. The meeting lasted for two hours.
“Having been briefed by the participants of the meeting, Mr. President, addressed prevailing issues confronting the nation in terms of insecurity and also mentioned his own philosophy towards dealing with national security issues.
“First and foremost, he appreciated the armed forces and intelligence agencies and the wider paramilitary agencies for the work they have been doing in the past couple of years. Their sacrifice, their loyalty, and he also paid tribute to those who died in defending this country, from the great big menace of terrorism, insurgency banditry, oil theft, sea robbery, piracy, etc.
“The President has made it very clear that he’s determined to build on whatever gains that have been made and to reverse misfortunes and turn the tide in our favour.
“As far as he’s concerned, this country should not be on its knees struggling while other countries are working and achieving greater heights.”
President Tinubu said in moving the country forward he needs the security agencies to redouble their efforts, stressing that his own philosophy is one of contemporary security measures dealing with the requirements of the time.
According to the NSA, “He has made it very clear that he will not accept a situation in which our fortunes keep declining. And his own trajectory is that national security has to be coordinated, there has to be whatever…whether it is a basket system, but there must be a clearing house.
“All agencies must work to achieve one single purpose. Working at cross purposes and colliding with each other is not something that he will condone. He has made it very, very clear that all the security agencies must comply with the demands of coordination, with the demands of frequent consultations and also timely reports which must be acted on.
“President has said clearly that he will do whatever is within his powers to enable the operational elements but the intelligence agencies must also make their work easy for them by providing the type of intelligence that they require to carry out the assignment.”
Police Foil Kidnap, Neutralise 2 Suspects in Delta
The Police Command in Delta has foiled a kidnap and killed two suspects in the ensuing shoot out.
The spokesman of the command, DSP Bright Edafe, disclosed this to newsmen on Wednesday in Warri.
Edafe said that that the deceased were neutralised by the police operatives attached to the Ovwian/Aladja Division, Udu Local Government Area.
He explained that the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), CSP Aliyu Shaba, received a distress call on May 31, that suspected kidnappers had abducted a couple on the DSC/Effurrun Expressway in Warri, Delta State.
“On May 31, 2023, at about 1:20p.m., CSP Shaba led operatives from Ovwian Aladja Division on a confidence building proactive patrol on the DSC/Effurrun Road.
“During the patrol, the DPO received a distress call that a man and his wife (name withheld) were kidnapped and their Lexus SUV was taken also.
“The DPO swiftly trailed the suspected kidnappers and eventually intercepted the vehicle on Warri-Sapele Road,” he said
Edafe said that the kidnappers on sighting the police team opened fire on them in a bid to escape.
He said that the police responded, adding that in the process two of the gang members were neutralised while the others abandoned the vehicle and escaped.
The police spokesman said that the victims were rescued unhurt and one AK-47 rifle with breach Number 16869; 46 rounds of 7.62 live ammunition; one pump action gun and 13 live cartridges were recovered.
Edafe said that the command had launched a manhunt for the fleeing suspects with a view to apprehend and prosecute them. (NAN)
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