The Nigerian Navy is establishing two operational bases in Bakassi local government area of Cross River state to be located at Ikang and Dayspring Island.
The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, who made the disclosure in Calabar, Thursday, while paying a courtesy visit to Governor Ben Ayade, said the plan has been on for some time now.
He said, “because we are aware of the security situation in the state- cultists, kidnappers and other criminal elements- and to that effect, it has been part of our strategic plan and I think it is expedient that speedily we establish outpost and security station in these locations so that we can improve our security architecture in the state and of course, secure our borders and around the Republic of Cameroon.
“I want to inform you, Your Excellency, of the ongoing general operations in the creeks around the state to ensure we rid it of all criminal elements; the cultists, the kidnappers and all that to make sure it is safe for maritime business to thrive since Cross River is a litoral state.
“In that regard, we are also collaborating with other agencies the Army, the Airforce and of course, the police and other security agencies in the state to ensure that the waterways are safe and secure for the prosperity of the good people of Cross River State,” he said while expressing optimism that the Naval War College being built in Calabar would be ready for commissioning next year.
In his response, Governor Ayade said, “Very recently NNS Victory had undertaken several operations and I want to thank NNS Victory for their efforts in clearing out those bad boys from the creeks. Indeed, that has helped.”
The governor commended the Naval Chief for the proposed Naval operational bases at Ikang and Dayspring Island, describing the development as deft moves to secure people of the area from criminal elements.
He however, pleaded with the Navy to also establish a base around Esighi where the Bakassi Deep Seaport project is sited.
“We will need a strong naval presence, we will need a naval patrol across the entire length and breadth of our maritime domain,” he stated, and pledged to sign the Certificate of Occupancy for the ongoing construction of Naval facilities in Calabar.