No ethnic bias in siting of Kano base, Navy clarifies
• ‘How facility will boost admin, operational capacity, others’
The Nigerian Navy has cleared the air on its decision to site a naval base in Kano, saying the facility would boost administrative and operational purposes.
Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, made the clarification, yesterday, in a chat with editors. He was represented by Rear Admiral Abraham Adaji, Chief of Training and Operations.
He said the base is an offshoot of the Navy Finance and Logistics College in Owerrinta, Abia State. Due to the development imperative, he noted, it was decided that the colleges should be separated and the logistics arm moved to Kano.
“What we are establishing in Kano is the logistics college. The finance college remains in Owerrinta,” he said.
The naval chief explained that Owerrinta is not the only landlocked location with a naval establishment in the country. He said there is a provost and regulating school in Makurdi where personnel are trained in naval provost duties.
“This is not the only basis that marks the presence of the naval base in the North. The Navy is heavily involved in the anti-insurgency, anti-terrorism operations and internal security operations across the North,” he said.
The CNS said in the North East, the Navy has over 170 personnel fighting alongside the Army and Air Force to combat threats. He noted that the situation is the same in the North West where over 250 persons fighting banditry and other security challenges.
In the North Central, the Navy has about 100 men working alongside others to combat banditry and kidnapping, even as there are also personnel in the Operation Safe Corridor, which manages the surrender of bandits and terrorists
“So, it is not just Kano that we have presence in the North. Long before Kano, for about 10 years, we have been in the North East. And since operations started in the North West, we have been there and in other places in the North where we have security challenges.”
Gambo said the base in Kano was established alongside two others. “At the Oguta Lake, the Navy is establishing a forward operating base because of the increasing activities of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Eastern Security Network (ESN), as well as sabotage of our oil and gas facilities.”
In Lagos, at the Lekki axis, he said, the Navy is also establishing a base, even as he noted that Lekki holds a lot of investment critical to the economic wellbeing of the country.
He described citing of the base in Kano and his being from the same state as a coincidence.