Police, others plan taskforce to curb militancy, piracy in S’South
IN an effort to address the reported cases of militancy and sea pirates attacks in the South-South region, the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), Zone 6 Command, Mr. Tunde Ogunsakin, in collaboration with three states, the Navy, Airforce and Department of State Security (DSS) is to set up a special taskforce to combat this scourge.
Meanwhile, the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral Henry Babalola, has declared the Gulf Guinea safe for business.
To achieve this, the AIG at the weekend in Calabar hosted three deputy governors and security chiefs within his jurisdiction to plan the new strategy.
Present at the meeting were the deputy governors of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Moses Ekpo; Cross River, Prof. Ivara Esu and a representative of the Rivers State deputy governor, Mrs. Ipalibo Harry-Banigo. Also in attendance were the three commissioners of police in the states, representatives of DSS, Navy and the Airforce.
It is recalled that recently unknown militants attacked the police marine base in Calabar carting away arms and ammunition before they were repelled. Ogunsakin, who used the forum to demand logistics support from the police high command, said the meeting aims at forming a zonal taskforce to combat militant attacks on persons and government facilities along the waterways.
He said, “there is the need for the establishment of the zonal joint taskforce as a crack squad to effectively combat the menace of maritime piracy and other violent crimes along the waterways.”
He charged the security forces to work out the modality of a joint operation room to coordinate the activities of the taskforce and the police high command to provide Amoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) in states where they are not available, especially Cross River, as it borders Cameroun.
Ogunsakin expressed optimism that with the formation of a technical committee to fashion out the composition of the zonal taskforce thereafter, the Inspector General of Police resolved to ensure the protection of lives and property in the command. Babalola said people doing genuine businesses along the Gulf of Guinea and Calabar waterways in particular should not fear any form of attack from sea pirates since the area “is now very safe.”
He made this known yesterday during the passing out parade of 2014/2015 batch of SSS III students of Nigerian Navy Secondary School, Akpabuyo, Calabar.
He said, “Calabar waterways is very safe. We have been able to deal with those who attempted to make the area unsafe. “Apart from stepping up our patrol, we escort merchant vessels involved in regional trade along the coasts of Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
“Before now, we were having daily attacks, but these attacks have been greatly reduced. We are applying serious caution in dealing with them since these criminals dwell with people of the riverine communities.”
He added, “We are not resting on our oars despite these successes. We hold regular meetings with other security outfits. We thank the Chief of Naval Staff for approving all our requests for maintaining security in that corridor.”
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