[From INI BILLIE, Uyo]
The Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral David Adeniran, has commended the Forward Operating Base (FOB) in Ibaka, Mbo local government area, in Akwa Ibom State, for being at the forefront in the fight against smuggling.
Speaking during an inspection of FOB on Monday in Ibaka, Adeniran said the base is in the forefront of the Navy’s drive to end smuggling and other illegal trade on the waterways, especially smuggled rice brought in from the Republic of Cameroon.
He stated that the base is the first in the Navy’s anti-smuggling operations within its area of jurisdiction, adding that FOB has performed above average in all ramifications.
He mentioned that the inspection was undertaken to encourage the efforts of the Commanding Officer of FOB, Captain Peter Yilme and his men for a job well done and listen to their challenges to seek out possible solutions to them.
He praised the base for its neatness, and the Naval headquarters for its support, adding that the Nigerian Navy has a duty to perform for the people of the country and would continue to do so.
He said, “This is one of the units under the Eastern Naval Command. This particular unit is at the fore front of our anti-smuggling operation and they have achieved a lot. If I am to qualify it, this is the number one base when it comes to anti-smuggling operation in our area of responsibility. They have done very well and we have to come around to encourage them.
“Besides, the Nigerian Navy has schedule of events and this period is meant for the inspection of units. We have to inspect the various units and be sure that things are what they are supposed to be; the neatness and the welfare.
“As the Commander, I have to talk to my men, hear from them; there are issues burning in their hearts I have to listen to. I was here some time ago, between then and now, there are a lot of issues, the COVID-19 global pandemic and others.
“Despite the fact that the Federal Government has eased restriction, there are a lot of things that we still need to do as members of the Armed Forces because it is when we are in good health that we can actually perform our duty adequately.
“This base is very neat. A lot of work has been done here by the naval headquarters, by the command and even the unit itself. We have to come here, tell them well done and encourage them. They have told me some of their challenges, so we will sit down and look at how to address those challenges. Can we address it at our level here or pass those challenges across.
“The officers and men here have performed well above average. All the units are doing well. The unit commanders exchange ideas and generally, the command is doing well.
“We are working for Nigerians, so we have no choice. Nigerians give us the resources we require to perform our duty so we have no choice than to have good relationship with them so that when we go back for more, they would oblige us.”
FOB Ibaka has recorded great successes in the arrest of rice and illegal Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) smugglers on weekly basis and have always handed over the suspects to the relevant agencies for prosecution.
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