From ODIMMEGWA JOHNPETER, Abuja
THE Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, has tasked personnel of Nigerian Army and Navy in Operation Awatse to dominate the creeks in Lagos and Ogun States, flush out criminal elements and eliminate pipeline vandalism.
Addressing the troops during an unscheduled visit to Arepo Town along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway and Majidun in Ikorodu, Lagos State, the CNS charged the troops to intensify efforts at bringing the untoward activities of criminal elements, pipeline vandals and crude oil thieves to an earliest conclusion.
Admiral Ibas also enjoined the troops to live up to expectation and maintain discipline. OPERATION AWATSE is a joint operation involving the Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Navy and is aimed at eliminating the problems of pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft in the riverine areas of Lagos and Ogun States.
It will be recalled that the Nigerian Navy component of the operation impounded over 5,000 jerry cans of suspected stolen petroleum products last year in Ikorodu area of Lagos State.
In a related development, fleet renewal, a major trust of the Nigerian Navy Transformation Plan, received a boost with the commissioning of 25 Epenal gunboats for naval operations in the Niger Delta.
While on a working visit to naval formations in the Niger Delta recently, the CNS also sensitized communities on the need to eschew criminal activities in their areas.