In line with its determination to curb the Niger Delta Area of illegal weapons possession before, during and after the off-cycle governorship election in Bayelsa State, the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) SOROH, has raided a suspected sea pirates’ hideout, recovering arms and cartridges in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state.
Commodore Olushina Ojebode, the Commander, disclosed this on Wednesday during a press briefing at the Naval Base in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa capital.
The Commander said acting on credible information, swiftly deployed her anti-sea robbery patrol team from one of its Naval Security Stations (NSS 030) which is at Foropa community in Southern Ijaw local
He said, “Accordingly, on sighting the Nigerian Navy Patrol team gunboats, the suspected sea robbers fled into the bushes.
“During the raid in Southern Ijaw, NNS SOROH special anti-sea robbery team further cordoned and searched the area and recovered, one general purpose machine gun (GPMG) with 100 links, 2 x AK 47 rifles, one locally made long gun, 2 x Tavor magazines, 11 rounds of 7.62 (NATO), 2 x cartridge rounds of pump action gun.
“Additionally, other recovered items include 2 x 200HP Yamaha engine, 5 x baofeng radio, a small techno Android phone, one GPS phone and 3x small techno phone as well as assorted camouflage uniforms.
“The camp was subsequently deactivated to deny the criminals any shelter within
Ojebode, further noted that NNS SOROH has sustained operations and aggressive patrols geared towards curbing the menace of Sea Robbery and piracy as well as Crude Oil Theft (COT) within Nigeria’s maritime environment, in an effort to rid its Area of Operation of criminality, illegalities and illegally possessed weapons.
He said the base has maintained a presence at sea and the deployment of surveillance infrastructure to monitor activities within its waters, thus maintaining the sanctity of Nigeria’s Maritime domain.
“The efforts of NNS SOROH, their resilience and dedication to duty led to the success of the raid operation.
“Accordingly the Nigerian Navy under the able leadership of the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ikechukwu Ogalla, will continue to conduct such sting operations to resist and arrest criminals desperate to undermine the democratic process, disrupt public peace or breach the hard-earned maritime security during and after the off-cycle election period.
“The service will continue to cooperate with stakeholders to achieve a peaceful maritime environment critical for legitimate business by law-abiding citizens towards the national economic development and prosperity,” he said.
He assured Nigerians of the unwavering commitment of the Nigerian Navy under the leadership of the Chief of Naval Staff to provide adequate security within Bayelsa maritime space and in Nigeria by extension in line with the service’s mandate.
The Commander appealed to the general public especially the riverine communities to continue to provide credible information that would lead to the arrest of sea robbers, crude oil thieves and other maritime criminals.
He warned those that are indulging in illegality to desist from them and look for legitimate business or if they are caught the law will take due cause on them.
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