From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa

Oil thieves, pirates and their collaborators, operating in the Niger Delta, are in for tough time, according to the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo.

Gambo, who promised to clamp down on criminal elements, warned naval personnel to avoid engaging in acts capable of tarnishing the image of the Nigerian Navy.

The naval chief, who stated this during a familiarisation visit to the headquarters of the Central Naval Command (CNC), Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, said those found to be colluding with economic saboteurs, drug barons, traffickers, bandits and kidnappers to perpetrate nefarious acts will be fished out and dealt with decisively.

He vowed to introduce policies and measures to sanction Nigerian Navy personnel who showed signs of laziness and ineptitude during service while promising to reward those involved in acts of gallantry, professionalism and excellence in service to the nation.

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Gambo said despite the facts that the Nigerian Navy is expanding in operations and adopting more decentralisation of administration to principal staff, the Navy will not hesitate to drop principal staff found wanting in handling responsibilities.

He urged naval personnel to hit the ground running in fulfilment of the presidential order to security chiefs and formation to reverse the worrisome security situation in the country with visits to naval formations to assess the readiness to tackle such security challenges.

”Nigerians are not patient and they want quick action. We have started to hit the ground running,” he said.

Gambo seized the opportunity to unveil the new maritime policy under his administration which includes the improvement of the nation’s maritime domain in line with presidential order.

“Professionalism is needed and good conduct must be upheld alongside discipline and integrity.”