Navy woos Bayelsa State traditional, community leaders over maritime crimes
The Central Naval Command has wooed traditional and community leaders over maritime crimes in the Niger Delta.
The Flag Officer Commanding, Rear Admiral Saidu Garba, made the appeal in Koluama, Southern Ijaw council area of Bayelsa State where the navy offered free medical services to residents and indigenes.
Represented by the Chief Staff Officer, Rear Admiral Solomon Agada, Garba noted that a crime-free waterway would foster the socio-economic development of the communities.
He said the medical outreach was a strategic directive from the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ete Ibas, to give back to host communities.
Garba added that the exercise would strengthen the existing relationship between his personnel and the host communities.
His words: “The Central Naval Command chose to bring the exercise this time to Koluama communities which host our naval outpost due to Koluama’s strategic importance to the command’s operations for the security of the waterways and to further demonstrate the commitment of the Chief of Naval Staff, and indeed, the Nigerian Navy’s efforts at sustaining harmonious relationship with our peace-loving host communities of Koluama.
“The exercise would provide an avenue to sensitise members of the communities on topical health issues as well as provide free medical consultation, treatment and other medical activities which would have positive impact on their health and wellbeing.”
Dozens of indigenes came out in large numbers for the exercise.
In his remarks, the traditional ruler, Amakoeo Osaisai, who lauded the force for the gesture, revealed that the area had no functional healthcare centre or hospital.
He said they have had to embark on a three-hour trip to Yenagoa for medical services.
The monarch therefore called on agencies, the state and federal governments to donate a functional hospital to the community as well as well equip it with doctors and nurses.