We have deployed new tactics in tackling sea piracy in Akwa Ibom waterways – Navy

The Commander of the Nigerian Navy Ship, NNS, Jubilee, Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom State, Commodore Martins Fakrogha said the command has deployed some modalities to stem the tide of sea piracy in the waterways.

Speaking with the leadership of the Correspondents Chapel, Nigeria Union of Journalists in the state, who came on a courtesy visit, Fakrogha mentioned some of the strategies to include the provision of escorts and patrols for vessels doing legitimate business on the sea.

Others are conducting stop and search on the waterways to find out what each vessel is being used for as well as being in constant communication with the fishermen to get intelligence on where the pirates are.

He also disclosed that the Akwa Ibom State government was coming up with a maritime tax force to protect those fishermen and those doing business within the coastal region.

His words, “for vessels doing business on Sea, we support them by providing escorts and patrols for them. Also, we conduct stop and search on the waterways to find out what each vessel is being used for. We discuss with boat owners and ship owners so that they will tell us whatever is happening at sea. We communicate with them to know if there are pirates somewhere or not.

“For the fishermen, the state government is also coming up with a maritime tax force so that those who are doing legitimate businesses are protected. So, you’ll see us more at sea now or along our coastline to be sure that the fishermen go about their normal duties.”

While noting that the command was acting under the directives of the Chief of Naval Staff to rid the waterways of all forms of crimes and criminality, Fakrogha warned pirates to steer clear of the state or face the full wrath of the law.

“I would like to tell them that a new sheriff is in town, and they should be very careful. If I catch them, I will deal with them with the law. We don’t take rubbish from anybody. Whoever they are getting their backing from will also not escape the full wrath of the law. This actually is coming as a directive from the Chief of Naval staff who has told us he has zero tolerance for any form of criminality in our waterways.” He spoke.

Earlier, the chairman of the Correspondents’ Chapel, Bassey Anthony represented by the Vice Chairman, Isaiah Eka told the Commander that the visit was for members to familiarize themselves with him and foster a robust working relationship as he assumed office as the new Commander of NNS, Ikot Abasi.

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