By OKOSUN OKHUELEGBE
HE former Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Rear Admiral Jonathan Ango has said he was proud to hand over to his predecessor, Rear Admiral Raphael Onyewkere Osundu because he is capable to drive the Command to a greater height.
Ango spoke with National Daily at the NNS Beecroft parade ground, Apapa after a colourful farewell parade for the FOC.
He explained that he had a successful tenure without an iota of blemish, acknowledging that he couldn’t have done so much if not for the maximum cooperation he had from officers and rating of the command. He enjoined them to extend the same to his predecessor.
A gale of handing over has been sweeping through the top echelon of the Nigerian Navy following recent redeployment of senior officers by the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ette Ibok-Ibas.
Ango, who assumed the command as the 34th FOC, having been appointed on the 24th December, 2014, said the challenges of commanding the foremost formation which is the “cradle of NN, and with the highest number of ships” was enormous.
“Challenges come in various shapes and sizes just as you have a ship in the sea that is facing various weather elements. We have old platforms that we have to manage to get the best of result,” he said. “The funding to the Nigerian Navy needs adequate enhancement as poor funding hampers getting adequate fuel for our vessels. We have to continuously seek for more funding from the federal government to keep our ship at sea.”
On the activities of pirates, Ango reiterated that the presence of the navy has kept the pirates out of sea hence they have not had too much attacks in recent times.
“With the deployment of three capital ships, which acted as deterrent and strategic choking point against pirates, we were able to prevent them from getting to the sea,” he said.
“Within the short time as the FOC, we had very minimal attacks by pirates on vessels. We made a lot of arrested of criminals who burst pipes and handed them over to NSCDC and police who have prosecutorial powers to deal with them,” Ango added.
Responding, the Flag Officer Commanding, WNC, Admiral Osundu said his tenure will be inconclusive irrespective of ranks as everybody is important, and he would do our best to improve on the foundation laid by my predecessor.”
While soliciting for the support of officers and ratings, the FOC added that with God and open-mindedness of his lieutenants, they would sail the ship to her destination.