FROM, GABRIEL OKECHUKWU, FRCN PORT HARCOURT
Commander Nigerian Navy Ship, NNS Pathfinder Commodore Suleiman Ibrahim says the base achieved appreciable milestones in the quest to end oil bunkering in Rivers State with the use of Swamp Buggy.
Commodore Ibrahim who made this known in an event to mark a successful year operation at NNS Pathfinder added that the Naval base also embarked on fleet renewal and project execution within the year under review.
The event was put up to bring families of personnel, staff and friends together to mark the end of a successful year and examine the milestones achieved.
The Nigerian Navy Ship, NNS Pathfinder Commander who took over the reins of affairs of the Naval base on the thirty first of March 2022 embarked on several activities targeted at improved operations, fleet renewal and project execution.
On operations, the Commander NNS Pathfinder Commodore Suleiman Ibrahim stated that constant and regular patrols were activated within the Area of Responsibility of the base to ensure security of the water ways especially at Cawthorne Channel, Isaka junction, Andoni and Opumakiri, which led to the arrest of many suspects.
According to Commodore Ibrahim, swamp Buggy Operation was launched to dismantle illegal bunkering infrastructure used by vandals to perpetrate crude oil theft in Buguma , Gbile, Alakiri, Abonema among others, consequently, the reduction of soot in Rivers State.
“Due to the resilience of the operators of illegal cooking camps, the Base adopted the approach of using swamp buggies to degrade and dismantle the metal structures used in the camps as tanks, reservoirs and cooking pots.”
“This has ensured the miscreants are severely discouraged and deterred. Currently, the Base has 4 swamp buggies, 4 tugboats and 4 barges which are used to deactivate illegal cooking camps within the Base AOO. This is done in conjunction with the support of HQ OPDS under the auspices of Op OCTOPUS GRIP”
Another significant achievement of the base was the rescue of seven kidnapped men including two personnel who were whisked away along Bonny -Port Harcourt water Channel.
Commodore Ibrahim who revealed that the perpetrators were arrested attributed the feat to a combined efforts with sister security agencies in an operation that extended to Bayelsa State.
Worthy of note also was project execution within the year, as many projects were inaugurated such as Solar powered streetlight, mini shooting range, block moulding machine, 150kva generator installation, while the ongoing projects include detention quarters, naval outpost at Abonema and permanent range.
“In terms of infrastructural development, The Base has carried out some quick impact projects and has outlined some proposals in areas of construction and general maintenance and these include:”
“a. Installation of Streetlights.
b. Renovation Works.
c. Mini Shooting Range.
d. Installation of Diesel Operated Sandcrete Block Moulding Machine.
e. Installation of 500KVA generator for officers’ quarters.
f. Renovation and furnishing of NNS PATHFINDER children Playground.
6. Ongoing Projects. The Base ongoing projects are as follows:&
a. Construction of NNS PATHFINDER Detention Quarters.
b. Renovation of the Golf Course.
c. Remodeling of Ratings Accommodation at NOP ABONNEMA.
d. Remodeling of CNS Guest House, Port Harcourt.
e. Construction of NNS PATHFINDER shooting range.”
The NNS Pathfinder Commander told the people that the base overhauled about thirteen gunboats and installed many gunboat mouths and stands to improve on the assets needed by personnel for smooth operations.
“Fleet Renewal: In a bid to have an efficient fleet, NNS PATHFINDER undertook repair and maintenance works on non-operational boats in her inventory and these include:
a. Refit of Non-Operational Gun Boats.
b. Revamping and Complete Overhaul of Non-Operation Manta Boats.
c. Installation of Gun-mounts/Gun-stand.”
He acknowledged the support from Chief of the Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Awwal Gambo in making the efforts come true as well as the personnel for working tirelessly to achieve success.
Side attractions at the event were, simulation of rescue mission, gun coupling by blindfolded officers, display by different artistes among others.