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Navy laments role of personnel in crude oil theft

By Kanayo Umeh, Abuja
10 December 2020   |   4:14 am
The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, has lamented the involvement of Naval personnel in illicit oil bunkering and theft in the country.

•Decorates newly promoted rear admirals
•Declares 43 officers wanted for ‘desertion’

The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, has lamented the involvement of Naval personnel in illicit oil bunkering and theft in the country.

He expressed worry that while the nation has recorded significant achievements in the fight against illegal oil bunkering and crude oil theft, there are still pockets of naval personnel colluding with criminals to sabotage this effort.

Ibas, who spoke during the decoration of newly promoted rear admirals at the Navy Headquarters, warned: “Any act of collusion with criminals or saboteurs of measures emplaced to checkmate illegalities will be met with stiff sanctions in accordance with the law of the land.”

The CNS urged the newly promoted senior officers to be more dedicated and display unalloyed loyalty to the president and commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

“Your ingenuity, resourcefulness and integrity will be required as senior officers of the Navy to reposition the service to discharge its constitutional role for the security and prosperity of Nigeria.

“Note that as leaders of the service, you are expected to be above board and ensure that your subordinates equally buy into the zero tolerance stance of the NN against all forms of illegalities and criminalities at sea and ashore,” Ibas said.

The Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd) said that promotion in the military “is a reward for hard work, patriotism, and loyalty to service and country.”

At the event, 18 commodores were decorated with the rank of rear admiral.

MEANWHILE, the Nigerian Navy has declared 43 personnel wanted for alleged desertion.

A circular containing the names and photographs of the affected officers displayed at the Navy Headquarters in Abuja, requested the public with useful information that could lead to their arrest to report to the nearest naval base or any police station.

The circular also mandates all Navy personnel with information on the whereabouts of the 43 personnel to report to the appropriate authorities.

Although no reason was given for the disappearance of the officers, there has been an upsurge in the number of military personnel who are deserting service.

The circular reads: “Above are the Nigerian Navy personnel who have deserted service recently. Accordingly, you are please requested to assist in providing useful information that will lead to their arrest or you may apprehend any one of them when seen and hand over to the nearest Nigerian Navy base or security station”.

It also provided contact telephone numbers, through which information relating to the whereabouts of the wanted officers could be communicated to the authorities.

A senior navy officer who didn’t want his name mentioned, confided in reporters that the increasing number of desertion in the military service was becoming worrisome.

“The development is very disturbing. The Nigerian Navy declared 43 personnel wanted for absconding from their duty without permission or resignation. But efforts are on to check the ugly trend”, the officer said.