The Nigerian Navy, Forward Operating Base, Ibaka in Mbo Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom state, has disclosed that its patrols along the borders of Akwa Ibom and neighbouring countries has checked the influx of migrants and smuggling of contrabands into the state.
In a press statement made available to newsmen on Monday in Uyo, Commanding Officer of FOB, Capt. Peter Yilme said the daily patrols of naval gunboats from the jetty to check all forms of illegalities around its area of operation have yielded results.
Capt. Yilme observed that with the intensive patrol efforts of the navy, rice smuggling which was regular activity along the coastal areas has been halted, vowing that the efforts will be continued and sustained.
He maintained that the patrols will continue to check and prevent all forms of illegalities as well as stop illegal immigrants from the Republic of Cameroon and other neighbouring countries from gaining entry into Akwa Ibom stay until the COVID-19 threat is over.
Capt. Yilme applauded the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ette Ibas, and the Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral David Adeniran for supporting and providing the logistics required to ensure the patrols and other assigned tasks of the base were sustained.
“In compliance with directives from naval headquarters received through headquarters, Eastern Naval Command and in order to maintain the Akwa Ibom state restrictions on movement on the water ways, our gunboats cast off from own jetty daily for patrol to checkmate all forms of illegalities around own area of operation, as well as to show presence.
“Efforts were concentrated to checkmate and prevent all forms of illegalities as well as stop illegal immigrants coming in from the Republic of Cameroon or other countries bordering Akwa Ibom state into own waters with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic in the country and the latest outbreak in Akwa Ibom state.
“Such patrol is to be sustained until a period when the threat of COVID-19 is no more in existence.
“It is pertinent to state that so far, FOB Ibaka patrol effort is yielding necessary results as travel restrictions within the water ways has reduced influx of migrants into Akwa Ibom state, particularly within FOB Ibaka area of operation.
“The base wishes to thank the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ette Ibas for the provision of logistic requirements to ensure that own platforms are available for such patrols,” he said.