The Nigerian Navy has warned its personnel to stay away from illicit drugs, as the service frowns at the use of illicit drugs by its officers and men.
The Flag Officer Commanding Naval Training Command (NAVTRAC), Rear Admiral Obi Ofodile, gave the warning, on Saturday, in Lagos, while addressing personnel at the 10-kilometres quarterly route march, organised by the Command.
In his words, “We conduct medical test to find out those who are well and those who are not. We go on to do route march like this to find out those who are physically fit and mentally alert.
“The purpose of the march is to identify and take care of those who are not well. The service wants to take care of them so that they will be fit.
“Certainly, you cannot perform your military duties without being physically fit and mentally alert.
“Generally in Nigeria today, if you read the newspapers, there are problems of drug abuse by youths. This is not limited to the civilians.
“So, once in a while, we alert and warn the personnel to stay clear of drugs that are not prescribed by trained medical doctors,” he said.
He lamented that 50 percent of persons who come for recruitment into the force are disqualified on the reason of illicit and use of non prescribed drugs.
Admiral Ofodile, however, lauded the command’s personnel at the end of the exercise.
No fewer than 1,000 personnel took part in the second quarterly fitness exercise, which began at NAVTRAC, Apapa.
The march took the participants to the Costain Bus Stop, Lagos and back to the command.
He said that the aim of the exercise was ensure fitness and fostering esprit de corps and preventing criminality in the command’s area of responsibility.
Earlier the Chief of the Naval Staff, Rear Adm. Ibok-Ete Ibas, had said that the Navy would continue to perform its constitutional role in collaboration with other security agencies in the country to improve national security.
Admiral Ibas, who was represented by Chief of Naval Transformation, Rear Adm. Begroy Ibe-Enwo, said that the force had been a formidable partner in the internal security across the country.
Adm. Ibas, therefore, enjoined naval personnel to exhibit their duties diligently and with utmost professionalism with due regard to human right violation.
Said he, “I must encourage you not to engage in any acts of indiscipline or taking the laws into your hands in the line of duty.
” The Nigerian Navy will continue to support you by way of providing all the needs to function optimally in the area of your responsibilities.
“Additionally, I enjoin you all to show dedication to duty and unflinching support to democracy and constituted authority,” Ibas said.
He said that the importance of the Route March could not be over-empasised, as operational efficiency and combat readiness were predicated on mental and physical fitness for the armed forces.