Navy says constructive engagement with communities will checkmate oil theft


The outgoing Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Central Naval Command, Yenagoa, Rear Adm. Mohammed Garba, says constructive engagement is critical to checkmating oil theft and other criminal acts in the Niger Delta.

Garba made observation during a passing-out-parade organised in his honour at Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS), DELTA on Tuesday in Warri.

He remarked that it was only when the people have been adequately appeased that they would willingly listen and imbibed ideas.

“To eradicate illegalities, you must be able to discuss and convince the people, rather than hurting their feelings.

“Roundtable discussion is the only way through which they can listen to your ideas and by implications achieve success.

“Ideological warfare is not about the people, who win by weapons, but those who win by ideas, so advising the people is important,’’ Garba said.

According to him, everybody at the higher level of commander must be able to translate national policies in a way that will shape, reshape and understand the environment.

He said that this was to enable the Navy to direct its tactical actions.

The out-going commanding officer enumerated the achievements of the command under his leadership.

He said the command had, in line with its mandate provided security in the maritime space, attributing the fest to a coordinated strategy of appeasement, constructive engagement and application of kinetic means.

He also said the command provide platform, facilities and other interventions to complement those at the Naval Headquarters.

These, he said had spurred the officers and men to give their best in providing security at the maritime domain.

“I urged you to remain discipline and dedicate yourself toward ensuring the continuous safety and security of the maritime environment in the command,’’ he said.

While imploring the men to support the incoming FOC, Rear Adm. Abubakar Alhassan, Garba commended the traditional rulers, states and local governments for their support.