The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, has warned the Avengers and other militants in the Niger Delta threatening to embark on renewed bombing of oil facilities in the region to rethink their decision and back off as the Navy was now reinforced and ready to ruthlessly send them down.
The CNS said proactive security measures that will checkmate militant insurgency, sea piracy, kidnapping and illegal bunkering were in place adding that any attempt to reverse the gains of peace and economic progress in the area with be visited with required response.
Ibas who spoke after the annual CNS inspection of facilities at the Naval Engineering College, Sapele, Delta state, assured multinational oil companies that despite the recent threat by Avengers, the Navy would protect their staff and oil facilities in the Niger Delta.
Vice Admiral Ibas said, “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.”
The CNS added that the increase in the production level in the oil and gas industry is attributable to the success of strategies the Navy has employed in combating crime in the creeks.
The CNS said: “Threat by Niger Delta Avengers, threat by kidnappers, threat by sea robbers, sea pirates and threats by all criminals are threats that the Armed Forces of Nigeria have a responsibility towards containing.
“We don’t wait until a threat comes from anywhere before the Navy acts.
“What we do is protecting lives and properties so any threat, especially against the nation’s assets or individuals, is taken very seriously and the Nigerian Navy will continue to do that which it has to do to protect the assets and properties of Nigeria
Cntinuing he said, “The Navy has 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.
He advised the public not to panic because of the threat by militants, as the navy has the professional capacity to curtail the menace in the region.
“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” he said.
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