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2019 Elections: Our platforms are combat-ready to support INEC, others ―Naval boss

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Ahead of the 2019 general elections, the Nigerian Navy and other members of the Nigerian Armed Forces say they are combat-ready to assist the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure a hitch-free exercise in the Niger Delta. 

Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Central Naval Command, Yenagoa, Rear Admiral SMD Usman, gave the assurance while fielding questions from journalists during his visit to naval bases and platforms under the command in readiness for the elections next year.

The naval boss said besides manning waterways to ensure the safety of lives and property as well as maritime activities, the navy was also saddled with the responsibility of supporting INEC and other organs of government to move the country’s democracy forward.

He said his visit to the naval bases was to ascertain the level of the preparedness and readiness of his personnel and platforms so that anything requiring urgent or immediate attention could be addressed.

Speaking in Warri on Monday after his tour of naval bases and platforms across Delta State with the assistance of the commanders including Commander, NNS DELTA, Commodore Ibrahim Dewu, Rear Admiral Usman urged the people not to lose their sleep over 2019 elections.

“The main visit on operation is to check orderliness. You know we are getting into the election period; we have to make sure all our platforms are ready to support INEC and any organ of government to ensure a smooth conduct election.

“One of the major roles of the Navy is to support the government in all ramifications and whatever it is, we don’t wait for any organ of government to come asking for support before we get prepared.

“So, we always get prepared well ahead and we carry out some feasibility studies before any call from the headquarters. 

“Right now, all the bases under my command are fully ready and the traditional roles of the navy to keep the waterways free and secured for all maritime users is one of the major tasks why we are here.

“We also came here to see how our platforms are doing and if there’s anything that is requiring urgent or immediate attention by any of the commanding officers.

“People don’t need to be apprehensive over the elections. I can assure you that nobody should have any fears for the forthcoming elections. 

“We are glad to make sure that the environment is safe for everybody and that’s why we are ready now.

“The time for the election date is still far, but we are fully ready; all the armed forces in the Niger Delta are here to support the government for a free and fair elections such that nobody will be molested and everybody will have the freedom to cast his or her vote without fear,” he reassured.

Meanwhile, the naval boss, during the tour, inaugurated a modern gate at the Naval Hospital, Effurun, and a Sick Bay at the Navy Air Station (NAS), Effurrun.

Rear Admiral Usman also inspected the construction site of Aworitse Industrial Park (Phase II), Obitugbo in Warri North Local Government Area, the Nigeria Navy Ships namely: NNS BOMADI, NNS OKPOKU, NNS IKOTI-ABASI and NNS ZARIA at the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), New Port, Warri.

He also led his team to the Nigerian Navy Base, Logistics Command at Oghara, and Koko Port in Warri North Local Government Area.




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