By James Ogunnaike – Abeokuta
Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has called for collaboration with Nigeria Navy in combating the high rate of insecurity in riverine areas of the state.
The governor, who made the call when he received the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Western Naval Command; Rear Admiral Jason Gbassa, in Abeokuta, disclosed plans by his administration to have Nigeria Air Force base and a training school in the state.
While reiterating his administration’s continued support to all security agencies in the state, the state helmsman called for collaboration with Nigeria Navy in provision of security for the protection of lives and property in riverine areas of the state.
The governor who donated a pickup van to the naval command and a car to the Nigeria Navy Secondary School, Abeokuta, equally promised to look at the issue of infrastructure in the school.
He said, “We want to have the Nigeria Air Force here because we are building Cargo Airport and we will like to have a training school here as well.
“We will continue to do the needful in terms of providing the needed support for all the security agencies that are present in Ogun State,” he stated.
Abiodun further disclosed that his administration was working to build a port in the riverine area, and as well bring investment to the state through the area.
He, therefore, appealed to the naval command to come to the aid of the state and help put a stop to attacks emanating from riverine areas.
“We are proposing and working on building a port in the riverine area. We are building in partnership with security agencies on maritime security. The Waterside axis of the State is one of the very open flanks, one of our vulnerable points, because every now and then, our people in the region are attacked from the waters and at times kidnapped. We’ve been dealing with that, but we can’t do it alone. I will like to sit down with you on how best we can collaborate in the provision of security for the riverine areas”.
While noting that his administration has just resuscitated the Joint Military Operation, otherwise known as ‘OPMESA”, Abiodun warned that any attempt to undermine the security of the state under his watch would be dealt with.
In his remarks, Rear Admiral Jason Gbassa, while speaking on the objective of the ‘OP WATSE’ to include pipeline protection, he said, because of the emerging security situation in the country, the scope of the operation was reviewed to cover the entire South West region and was renamed ‘Joint Taskforce, Operational WATSE’, South West Region.
Gbassa who noted that the state would benefit more from the taskforce with more deployment, added that it is the determination of the command to have more presence in the state, so as to curb criminal activities.
On the Tongeji oil rich area, the Flag Officer said the command has a deployment of its men in the area and presently working towards scaling up its presence by physically setting up an outpost.
He added that with the presence of the command in the area, it would be difficult for any country to lay claim to the island.
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