By Ibrahim Sheriff (Gold)
The Nigeria Navy (NN) has dispelled rumours that its officers and ratings aid and abet crude oil theft and invasion of herders.
In a statement by Naval image-maker, Commodore Suleman Dahun, the Nigerian Navy insisted that it was highly committed to zero tolerance to economic sabotage and indiscipline among officers and rank-and-file in their bid to secure Nigeria’s ocean.
The statement reads, “The attention of the Nigerian Navy has been drawn to a news report in some newspapers captioned ‘How Nigerian Navy Aids Crude Oil Theft, Herders’ Invasion’. While the report is largely speculative, lacking in facts and substance and one-sided, the Nigerian Navy notes the attempt to substantiate and legitimise the allegations contained therein by quoting an unnamed official of an organisation called Domestic Refineries Owners Association of Nigeria, who made grave allegations of complicity against Nigerian Navy personnel.
“Thus, as a responsible Service, the Nigerian Navy intends to invite members of the purported organisation to assist in identifying the NN personnel who receive bribes to facilitate the alleged unpatriotic acts of economic sabotage.
“In this respect, the Naval Headquarters wishes to further reiterate its position on zero tolerance for economic sabotage, isolated cases of personnel complicity in illegal acts as well as its resolve to fight all forms of criminal activities in the nation’s maritime domain.
“Accordingly, the Nigerian Navy encourages anyone with useful information regarding criminals operating in the Nigeria’s maritime environment or those aiding and abetting them, to please oblige the Service such information. The information so received and the informants are assured of utmost confidentiality in handling.
“The Nigerian Navy wishes to enjoin our media partners to endeavour to verify the information sourced from other stakeholders in the maritime industry with the Naval Headquarters especially those that pertain to maritime security.
“While thanking the general public for its continuous support and cooperation, the Nigerian Navy assures of its commitment to the general security and economic prosperity of the nation”.