THE Flag Officer Commanding, Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Ferguson Bobai, on Tuesday, said that the Nigerian Navy in collaboration with other security agencies is ready to flush out militants, terrorising communities in Ogun State.
He stated this during his visit to the state governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, at his office in Abeokuta, that the Federal Government had directed the Navy to assist the governments of Ogun and Lagos in addressing the security challenge of the militants.
Tribune Online recalled that riverine communities in the two states had in recent times being under the siege of attack by the hoodlums, which had resulted into killings and destruction of properties.
Bobai said the right of way and identifying the creeks was one of the major challenges confronting the Navy in combating the activities of the suspected militants.
The Naval officer was in company of the Lieutenant Commander of Nigerian Navy Secondary School, Abeokuta, Ahmed Abdullahi, and senior naval officers, submitted that the creeks were already being combed to make them crime-free.
Bobai also explained that arrangements are on top gear towards the establishment of a new Naval Base in Tongeji Island in Ipokia Local Government Area of the state, to address the problem of pipeline vandalism and smuggling of contraband into the state.
He said, “As a matter of fact, you know that there is an operation ongoing called Operation Awatse. Awatse is a Hausa name to say scatter; so we hope that in a short while, the Operation Awatse would swing into intensive operations to ensure that all these places are cleaned up of militants.
“Essentially, from the maritime front, one of the greatest problems we have is in the right of way in the water front and creeks there. There are natural obstacles that will hinder us to move from point A to point B and the Chief of Naval Staff is very much concerned about that.
“Today, we have a team that is going round some of those creeks to see how we can open up the waterways to enable us move in to confront these issues that we are talking about.”
Governor Amosun in his response promised his administration readiness to assist the Navy with necessary materials to equip the new Naval base.