The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibo-Ete Ibas, declared on Monday, that the Nigerian Navy had reinforced security measures to combat militancy, insurgency, sea pirates, kidnapping and oil bunkering.
Ibas, while speaking after inspection of facilities at the Naval Engineering College, Sapele, Delta state, stated that despite the recent threat by Avengers, the navy would protect oil facilities in the Niger Delta region.
He said that the Navy had deployed its men at strategic locations to ensure that the waterways were safe for International Oil Companies to carry out their legitimate duties in the Niger Delta region.
His words “Nigerian Navy has implemented various security measures to curb militant insurgency, sea pirates, kidnapping and illegal oil bunkering in the region. For sea fearers who use the sea, Navy is ready to protect seafarers who are on legitimate businesses.
‘‘We will work in collaboration with other sister security agencies to fight against pipeline vandalism, illegal oil bunkering and sea-piracy as well as protection of the international territorial waterways.”
On his part, the Delta governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, also yesterday, sent a passionate appeal to the Niger Delta Avengers not to embark on further attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta.
“We passionately appeal to the Niger Delta Avengers not to resume hostilities, because Deltans will be the greatest losers. We are barely recovering from the effect of previous attacks and it is our honest appeal that they still give peace a chance by allowing for peaceful engagements with the Federal Government and other stakeholders.
“This appeal for peace remains imperative because, without the atmosphere of peace, no meaningful negotiations and development can take place, he said, adding “resumption of hostilities will not be in the interest of our people but a major setback to the plans and aspirations of the state.
“We have continued to appreciate our brothers in the struggle for their continued patience and cooperation while we engage the Federal Government on ways to attend to the various issues being raised by the group.
“As a state, we have made several interventions to make life more meaningful for oil-bearing communities especially in the area of road construction in the creeks and without the enabling peace we cannot progress in that direction,” he asserted.