Faced by intimidating threats of vandals and criminals’ activities, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has ceded 18 hectares of land to the Nigerian Navy (NN), for the establishment of a Forward Operation Base (FOB) at the Tarkwa Bay Island.
Rear Adm. Oladele Daji, the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Western Naval Command who was represented by Rear Adm. Tanko Pani, the Chief Staff Officer, in his acceptance remark assured, that the land would not only be judiciously used but that the FOB would actually checkmate the criminals’ nefarious activities within the Island and the high seas.
“It is our shared vision that the proposed FOB will further checkmate the nefarious activities of criminal elements and other miscreants on the high seas and on Tarkwa Bay Island”, Rear Adm. Tanko Pani said, “While enhancing the safety and security of navigation within our waters in line with our collective mandate.”
The FOC said that the siege faced by Tarkwa Bay Island made the Defence Headquarters introduce Operation Kurombe to dislodge miscreants.
“It would be recalled that the Tarkwa Bay Island was under siege due to activities of unpatriotic Nigerians who carry out piracy, vandalism of NNPC pipelines as well as engaging in other criminal activities.
“This necessitated the authorisation of Operation Kurombe by the Defence Headquarters which dislodged the criminals and their collaborators from their various hideouts on the Island,” he said.
Daji said he was optimistic that the event would further demonstrate the enduring relationship between both organisations and also affect national security positively.
“Today, I have no doubt in my mind that this event will further demonstrate the enduring relationship between our dear organisations which will also impact positively on national security and development,” he said.
Daji, who is the Commander of Operation Awatse, also commended the communities who volunteered to be partners in progress with the NN by reporting the activities of the suspected criminals.
“Let me use the opportunity to applaud the efforts of communities in the neighborhood who volunteered to be partners in progress.
“Only two days ago, based on credible intelligence Operation AWATSE was able to arrest some suspected vandals and also confiscated nine trucks.
“Six were fully loaded with siphoned petroleum products from NNPC pipelines. The suspects are being investigated and on conclusion of investigation will be handed over to relevant agencies for prosecution,” he said.
Mr Ahmed Yusuf, the General Manager, Lands, NPA said that he believed the establishment of the FOB would strengthen the bond and also help to secure facilities both at the port and high sea.
“We are pleased with the partnership we have with the NN, it had been a long one, I believe that the establishment of the FOB will further strengthen the bond between us.
“It will also help us to secure our port facility both at the port and high sea. Our expectations is that the NN will fully deploy and utilise this place so, that it will serve the purpose (and) have a strong presence that will impact positively on the security of the waterways,” he said.
He highlighted the facility consists of 18 hectares land, some chalets and other development.
“This FOB issue has been with us. It started between NPA and NN, the discussion commenced on this FOB as far back as 2010.
“Discussion has gone a long way, issues have been raised and resolved but finally on June 24, the NPA accepted to give this place to the NN for the establishment of this base,” he said.