The Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral David Adeniran, recently flagged off operation BEKAN MMON ll to fight against maritime crimes in the Eastern Naval Command maritime domain.
Bekan Mmon is an Efik word for ‘calm water’.
He reiterated that ‘’navies the world over carry out operations for different reasons. Some conduct exercises for perceived or anticipated security challenges, others engage in operations in order to review existing operational directives and for training purposes.’’
He also said that the outcome of such operations determined the quantity and quality of training offered to participating personnel. And that the need for training and retraining has become expedient to navies the world over because of the dynamics in contemporary maritime security threats.
Admiral Adeniran added that maritime threats were generally similar in nature, as he listed some of them to include piracy, hostage taking, kidnapping, illegal oil bunkering, poaching and crude oil theft amongst others.
He said that the efforts of different nations determined the viability of such threats, while mentioning that Nigeria as part of the world and a littoral nation, has had its own share of maritime security challenges.
He mentioned accordingly, that Nigeria’s survival is largely dependent on the maritime environment and therefore the Nigerian Navy as the Lead Agency in the maritime sector has always made efforts by taking steps to sustain a secured maritime environment for economic prosperity of the country Nigeria.
While flagging off the operation, Admiral Adeniran emphasized that Operation BEKAN MMON I recorded numerous successes, such as, the arrest of over 540 suspects, destruction of 200 illegal refinery sites, neutralisation of 11,000 metric tons of stolen crude oil and 15,000 metric tons of illegally-refined AGO as well as the seizure of 25,000 x 50 Kilogramme of smuggled per boiled rice.
He stated that considering the visible operational successes of Operation BEKAN MMON I in reducing maritime crimes in Nigeria’s maritime environment, there was the need to consolidate on these achievements, which necessitated the activation of Operation BEKAN MMON II. All these, he said, were in line with the strategic directives of the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas.
He used the opportunity to beckon on the communities within the ENC AOR to continue to support the NN towards ensuring a secured and peaceful maritime environment. He also advised those engaged in illegal activities in the maritime environment to desist and join hands with the Nigerian Navy to ensure a secure maritime environment for economic prosperity of Nigeria.
He also urge all the participating ships to be agile and alert to their responsibilities and consolidate on the successes recorded during operation BEKAN MMON I.
The Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Naval Command used the occasion to thank the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, for providing all needed logistics for the success of Operation BEKAN MMON I.
The Admiral reiterated that, NNS SHIRORO and NNS GONGOLA and other Fast Attack Craft were sailed from FOB BONNY to NNS VICTORY Calabar and they would commence the operation in conjunction with all other operational bases immediately after the flag off.
He explained that, the logistics involved in sailing the vessels were enormous and had been graciously provided by the Chief of the Naval Staff.
He promised that more would be achieved under Operation BEKAN MMON II as it relates to curbing maritime crimes.
Rear Admiral Adeniran said that the flag off of the operation and the operation itself is with recourse to the Federal Government guidelines on COVID 19.
By Commander Edward Yeibo