The Nigerian Navy on Saturday said it would intensify its ‘Operation River Sweep (ORS)’ in the Niger Delta region to eliminate pipeline vandals, sea robbers, kidnappers and other the criminal elements within the region’s maritime environment.
The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Central Naval Command (CNC), Rear Admiral Mohammed Garba, spoke during the command’s medical outreach to Okunbiri community in Sagbama Local Government Area, Bayelsa State.
Grab said, “The Operation River Sweep taking place in the region has been a success. The idea of introducing the ORS 1 and 2; one in the Eastern Naval Command (ENC) and another in the Central Naval Command, is to continue to keep pressure on the criminal elements within the maritime environment.
“Through this operation, the Nigerian Navy will be able to contain the nefarious activities of criminals in the area adequately.”
Speaking on sea piracy, the Navy and other sister security organisations had successfully minimised their criminal activities, adding that only few isolated cases had been recoded.
“Sea piracy has never been rampant. I will say we are doing our best to ensure that we keep the waterways safe for legitimate activities to take place”, he said.
Garba said that the medical outreach had become an aspect of the command’s corporate social responsibility to its host communities, adding that it was the ninth edition of the programme.
He said the command shifted the focus of the programme to riverside communities and non-motorable villages without access to good medical services.
The FOC called on the beneficiaries to on assist the navy by providing useful information to combat crimes, especially in the maritime domains.
The residents were tested and treated for malaria, typhoid fever, diabetes, high blood pressure, hepartitis, among others.
Also, many children were dewormed and given immunisation treatment against polio and other ailments.
An indigene of the community and former Acting Governor of Bayelsa State, Nestor Binabo, commended the Navy for its gesture.
Binabo said that the free medical outreach was the first of its kind in the community, adding that the intervention of the command came at a time many residents found it difficult to access medical care because of poverty.
The former acting governor said, “The naval establishment has been here in Bayelsa for sometime but the present FOC of the command is a fantastic person.
“The exercise tells me that the command has the people of Bayelsa at heart. You know, a healthy man is a wealthy man. Today, you can see the number of persons that have come out to get medical examinations and treatments. It is no mean feat. We are grateful to the Nigerian Navy for this benevolence.”
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