President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday in Lagos commissioned 118 ships and boats as well as a helicopter, to enhance the capability of the Nigerian Navy in securing the nation’s maritime domain as well as the Gulf of Guinea.
The ships include seven Seaward ships and 111 boats. One of them, NNS Oji, a Seaward Defense Boat, SDB III, was locally built by the Nigerian Navy engineers at the Naval Dockyard, Victoria Island Lagos.
Buhari, while speaking at the ceremony/induction of the Nigerian Navy ships and keel laying for the construction of Boat-IV and Boat-V, at the Naval dockyard, congratulated the Navy led by the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, for maintaining a steady course in its drive for local content development.
He said, ”I am delighted to note that one of the ships to be commissioned today, NNS OJI; which is a Seaward Defence Boat, is the third of its series to be locally built at the Naval Dockyard Limited, Lagos, solely by our Navy engineers.
“Given our present high dependence on oil and gas revenues, the Navy is undeniably a major contributor to the economic well-being of our country.
Buhari said the arrests of those involved in illegalities on the country’s waterways had yielded results, noting that ” some pirates, illegal bunkering syndicates, pipeline vandals and other miscreants have been convicted this year.
“Such successes were made possible through the enforcement of our new anti-piracy law on Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences Act 2019.
“Furthermore, the provision of the new policy directives by the current administration of the Navy codified in such documents as the Nigerian Navy Strategic Plan 2021-2030; the Chief of the Naval Staff Strategic Directive 2021-5 and the Total Spectrum Maritime Strategy have given the Service credible guidelines and leverage for improved operational efficiency”.
While charging the Navy to maintain professionalism and ensure good use of the newly built and recently acquired platforms, the president, said, “We should note that we are in a critical period where our country is faced with a serious decline in our revenue and the security challenges we are facing.
‘‘The present realities, therefore, call for prudent resource management, innovativeness, accountability and careful maintenance”.
In his welcome address, the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, explained that one of the commissioned ships, NNS LANA, a Hydrographic Ship, which was received from her maiden voyage from France to Nigeria on May 17, 2021, would be involved in the hydrographic survey of the nation’s territorial waters, towards ensuring the safety of navigation within her waterways.
For the SDB III, Inshore Patrol Crafts (IPC) and Fast Patrol Boats (FPB): NNS ABA, NNS KANO, NNS IKENNE, NNS SOKOTO and NNS OSUN, he said, they would be deployed for surveillance and patrol duties within the nation’s waters.
These efforts, according to him, ”are geared towards enhancing the performance of our constitutional role regarding the hydrographic survey and policing of our waters. Invariably, the induction of these platforms into the NN fleet will lead to further decline in criminal activities in our Maritime Domain”.
While assuring that the assets would be adequately maintained to sustain the Navy’s maritime security operations, the CNS, added that they would be deployed in line with the Service’s Trinity-of-Actions Concept of Maritime Security, to deny criminal elements freedom of action.
”The Nigerian Navy remains committed to a robust collaborative engagement with other maritime stakeholders in enhancing the performance of the nation’s ports and that shipping activities along our Sea Lanes of communications including maritime activities along the Inland waterways are not hindered in any way.
“Let me emphasize that the commissioning of the SDB III, NNS OJI and others today is a manifestation of the Federal Government’s commitment to maintaining a well-equipped navy that Nigerians would be proud of.
“I, therefore, use this occasion to once again, solicit for the sustenance of the cooperation among maritime and security stakeholders operating in our maritime domain.
Ex-IBB spokesman, Duro Onabule, dies at 83
Duro Onabule, former Chief Press Secretary of former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, has died at the age of 83.
The veteran journalist reportedly died on Tuesday evening.
A close associate of Onabule’s family, Chief Eric Teniola, broke the news of the foremost journalist’s death, saying, “Chief Duro Onabule died this evening”.
He Onabule was presidential spokesman for the greater part of Babangida nine-year administration when the government shut down many newspapers and magazines and slammed their publishers with temporary proscription to make them comply with the code of conduct set up by the administration.
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He was born in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, on September 27, 1939 and graduated from CMS Grammar School and School of Journalism, London.
He started his first media work as a reporter at the Daily Express in 1961. Three years later, he joined the Daily Sketch and spent some time there before going back to his previous employer, Daily Express.
In 1969, he served as the London correspondent of the Express. In the mid-1970s, he worked for the Daily Times and later became a deputy editor of the Headlines magazine.
Onabule was appointed features editor when the late MKO Abiola started Concord Press and in 1984, he became the editor of Concord newspaper.
He was a columnist at the Sun newspapers until his death.
Insecurity: Lagos considers total ban on okada
The Lagos State Government says it is considering a total ban on commercial motorcycles in all local government areas of the state.
The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, said this at a stakeholders forum organised to review the ban on commercial motorcycles in parts of the state.
The forum, held in Lagos on Tuesday, had the theme: “Okada Ban, What Next: Review of Enforcement and Compliance, Two Months After.”
The Lagos State Governor, Bababjide Sanwo-Olu, on June 1 banned the operation of commercial motorcycles, popularly called okada, in six local government areas and nine LCDAs.
The six local governments are Ikeja, Surulere, Eti-Osa, Lagos Mainland, Lagos Island and Apapa.
Omotosho said after seeing the results of the ban in the six local government areas, the people of Lagos had been calling on the government to expand the ban.
“Some people have suggested that the ban should be statewide, considering the present anxiety over security,” he added.
According to him, the forum is to take stock of the government decision on the ban and agree on the next step to take.
He recalled the criticisms that initially trailed the ban, “based largely on sentiments of those who had not witnessed the havoc some of the Okada riders caused in the areas of health and security.
“Residents were being robbed of their belongings by robbers who used motorcycles to flee scenes of crimes.
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“Our public hospitals were being filled with victims of Okada accidents, doctors had their hands full at Emergency wards, and hoodlums who rode unregistered motorbikes posed great security risks.”
The commissioner said all stakeholders now have the opportunity to make suggestions on what steps the government should take on the matter.
In his remark, the Commissioner for Transportation, Dr Frederic Oladeinde said that the ban had recorded significant successes and compliance.
Oladeinde said in the affected areas within the period under review, available records’ showed that crime and accidents had reduced drastically.
“In the affected areas within the period under review, available records’ show that crime and accident rate reduced astronomically by 86 per cent and 63.7 per cent, respectively.
“While a total of 7,500 motorcycles were impounded and crushed accordingly,” he added.
He said that the rise in the level of insecurity nationwide has made it imperative to review the impact on the ban on motorcycles in parts of the state and further steps to protect the people.
“The Federal Government is presently considering the total ban of motorcycle operations across the federation as most of these underground activities are been enhanced with the use of motorcycles.
“Also, the attention of the state government has been drawn to the security threat parading the news across all socio-media platforms that some unscrupulous individuals are planning to attack the state.”
Oladeinde said the government was already working round the clock to secure the state.
The commissioner said the focus on Okada operation was due to their non-compliance to traffic rules and regulations, and its being used for robbery, kidnapping, arms supply and attack on citizens.
He said the forum was expected to re-ignite the state’s commitment to tackling traffic rules violations and criminals operating as commercial riders.
The Special Adviser to the governor on Transportation, Sola Giwa said the forum should come up with suggestions to guide the government on decisions to take on the operation of Okada riders.
IGP warns personnel: No more night travels, uncoordinated vehicle search
The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Alkali Usman Baba, has warned all police personnel to refrain from travelling at night until further notice.
This was contained in a signal sighted by julianafrancisnews.com.
The order may be connected to the wanton killings and attacks on police personnel in some parts of Nigeria, especially in the Southeast. The reason for police personnel being targeted and killed has remained unfathomable.
Since the #EndSARS Protest, which spiraled across different parts of the country, policemen have been killed and police infrastructures targeted and destroyed.
Baba further instructed that the police contingent embarking on any journey should stop and sleep at the nearest police station immediately after the clock strikes 6:00 p.m.
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The personnel, thereafter, should continue with their journey the following day to avert untoward situations.
Baba, also in the missive, threatened to come down hard on commissioners of police manning states if they did not control personnel under their watch, stressing that over seven police personnel clustering around a single vehicle in the name of ‘Stop and Search’ duty was quite unbecoming and worrisome.
This he opined, makes them not to be on red alert while on their duty posts.
Commissioners of Police heading states were further ordered to warn Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) under their watches to return excess arms in their holding to the central armory in their stations or formations for safekeeping.
The Commissioners of Police, Area Commanders, and DPOs were expected to make issues raised by Baba in the signal part of their subject matters during lectures.
The signal states thus: “Police officers should stop travelling at night. Police contingent embarking on a journey should stop at the nearest police station immediately it is 6:00 p.m and continues the journey the following day to avert an untoward situation. Police officers travelling in their own private capacities should do so early enough to reach their final destinations on time to avoid night journeys.
“To all the Commissioners of Police in states, you’re further directed to post 10 men as station guards to fortify all police stations and other formations. Seven men on Stop and Search duties in your respective commands, warn them to adhere strictly to their individual assigned duties and stop clustering around stopped vehicles for the purpose of searching them.
“Policemen must always be on red alert while on duties. Furthermore, you are to warn your Area Commanders and DPOs to return excess arms in their holding to Central Armoury at different formations and commands for safekeeping. Make the directives a subject of a lecture to your officers and men. Treat as very important and ensure strict compliance.”
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