The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, has warned members of the Niger Delta Avengers against their threat to resume hostilities on oil facilities in the region.
The militant group had recently announced plans to resume hostilities over claims that the Federal Government had failed in its promise to redress situations in the Niger Delta region.
But the Chief of Naval Staff had while speaking with journalists at the headquarters of the Eastern Naval Command in Calabar, Cross River State on Tuesday, said no group had the audacity to threaten the nation.
Ibas, who had an extensive dialogue with officers and ratings across all formations under the Eastern Naval Command, said the navy was prepared to confront any threat in the region.
He said, “The essence of my coming here is to carry out appraisal ashore including training establishments and to exercise the fleets later.
“We are prepared for the various contingencies threat that they have but we do not need to wait until an individual threatens the existence of Nigeria and threatens to destroy lives and property before we respond.
“We have a wide range of contingencies and we apply them. No individual has the audacity to threaten a nation.”
Speaking on the recent acquisition of several security patrol boats produced by an indigenous company, Epenal Boats, Ibas said the induction of over 150 boats had created positive impacts on the navy.
He noted that North Korea had been able to dare great nations because of its capability to develop its technologies.
“Most great nations are nations that are able to take destiny in their hands. North Korea is a small nation and not developed but it can be seen to be daring the power of the United States just because it has the capability to develop technologies that will threaten not only their enemies.
“I believe that Nigeria could look inwards and develop boats. We have identified that we have an indigenous boat company and we decided to try it out, given the type of challenges that we have. They have been able to make positive impact on the navy.
“We have subscribed to over 150 of their boats. Although even if you are the best of navies, equipment is never enough. It has cost us a lot and we have saved a lot of resources and foreign exchange for the nation,” he said.
He also disclosed that the navy on Saturday arrested six pirates that had attempted to hijack a ship.
“Just last Saturday, we had a team of six pirates who went to board a ship. We have arrested them. The impact of the navy operations out there has, in a way, given rise to increased maritime activities on our seas. Fishermen are now going out the more to support the nation’s economy from the statistics we have,” he said. Punch