Aim towards improving security across coastal areas of Enugu State, the Nigerian Navy has announced plans to erect an operational base in the state, to uphold the primary duty of safeguarding lives and property in the region.
While on a courtesy call on Thursday at the Government House in Enugu, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, the Chief of the Naval Staff, shared this important information, noting that he is ever-ready to forge collaborative effort with Governor Dr. Peter Mbah of Enugu State.
Governor Mbah earned commendation from Ogalla for his courageous actions in confronting the state’s security issues shortly after assuming the role, with Ogalla expressing his admiration of the significant successes achieved in the brief period under his leadership.
Continuing, he said: ‘The Nigerian Navy has three primary roles, which are first, the military duties, being the protection of this country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty from the maritime domain. We have policing role as well as the diplomatic roles.’
‘We have noticed that within this role of policing duties, we have not really extended our functions to Enugu State, and we want to do that with your support.’
‘To this end, we plan to extend our operations to encompass and cover the broader spectrum of Enugu State, knowing that the state has a navigable river around Uzo Uwani. That river used to be a seaport during the colonial era, and it has been abandoned. We believe that if we are able to police that area, it will give assurances to investors, who will now invest in the development of that seaway for the benefit of the people of Enugu State.’
‘So, I want to seek your support as we make this bold initiative towards showing presence within that important seaway.’
‘Our operations there will be aimed at providing internal security operations both through area surveillance and patrol in such a manner that economic activities can thrive without hindrance’.
Welcoming the Chief of the Naval Staff to his home state, Mbah, who was full of appreciation to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for appointing an Enugu son to head an arm of the security agencies in this country, described it as something of ‘immense value and significance, not just to the people of Enugu State, but to the entire South East region’.
Mbah emphasised once again the state’s dedication to transforming Enugu into the prime destination for investment, residence, and tourism, underscoring the central role of security and peace as fundamental elements.
‘I want to inform you that since that announcement of the ban on sit-at-home and declaration of war on insecurity, we have received tremendous support from the security agencies in our state, which is evident in the improvements in security and peace, which we are currently enjoying’, said
In recognition of the anticipated creation of a naval operational base in Enugu State, Mbah clarified that the misconception of Enugu being landlocked was a consequence of the state’s waterways’ underdevelopment, underlining that ensuring security in the coastal areas would revolutionise this perception.
His words: ‘We know that some of us may be hearing for the first time that Enugu has navigable water because there is this erroneous perception that our state is a landlocked state. I am very happy that you made that clarification that indeed Enugu State, at some point, provided veritable seaport for this country where goods and persons were moved from our land.’
‘So, I am happy the naval chief made the commitment today that the Navy will establish an operational base in Enugu State. This is heartwarming for us, as this will support the fight against insecurity in Enugu, especially at that flank of our state.’
‘I want to assure you, on behalf of the government of Enugu State, that we are going to support you with all that is required to ensure the actualisation of your operational base’.
Additionally, Governor Mbah encouraged the Chief of the Naval Staff to explore the possibility of establishing a naval school and a hospital within Enugu State.