NNS KADA set sail for Guinea Bissau on ECOWAS peacekeeping stabilization operation
The Nigerian Navy Ship KADA today (Saturday, 6th August) has embarked military wares and logistics for the Nigerian Contingent (NIGCON) being part of the ECOWAS Stabilization Support Mission in Guinea Bissau.
The mission is part of Nigeria’s effort in strengthening and enhancing security in the West African Sub-region.
Early on Saturday, NNS KADA left the NNS BEECROFT Jetty in Apapa for the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Tin-Can Island Port before its final sail on the mission.
Addressing newsmen at the Jetty, the Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral YB Wambai, spoke on the expectations and importance of the operation as part of the constitutional responsibility of the navy in supporting peace-keeping operations in the sub-region.
He said: “The expectations are that first, this trip shows the synergy that has continued to be a hallmark of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.
“The Role that the Nigerian Navy is playing today by NNS KADA in conveying military ware is one of the roles assigned to the Nigerian Navy constitutionally.
“By moving these equipment, we are supporting ECOWAS with the stabilisation backing that is established in Guinea Bissau.
“These equipment are needed by a contingent of Nigeria there. Hitherto, we would have moved these by international shipping. But, we have come of age that the Nigerian Navy can conduct this assignment as designed, as it ought to be and as we have been mandated constitutionally.
“So, the Chief of Defense Staff, the Chief of Naval Staff and the Chief of Army Staff, and the Chief of Air Staff have taken all these into consideration. By and large as it is, we are going to showcase our capacity and competence while keeping peace in the sub-region.”
He also highlighted that for any peace keeping operation involving Nigeria, the Nigerian Navy plays general and specific roles- “the Nigerian Navy roles include sea lifting of troops and logistics, sea surveillance, blockade, gun fire support, control of shipping and sea lane of communication. Others are search and rescue mission, policing, conveying of relief materials amongst others.”
Admiral Wambai also spoke on how the operation would further highlight Nigeria’s contributions to peacekeeping missions in the Sub-region.
“Remember In 1990 when ECOMOG (Economic Community of West Africa Monitoring Group- a sub-regional peacekeeping force) started in Liberia, we did similar operation with NNS AMBE and NNS OFIOM (Both Landing Ship Tanks)- conveying equipment and personnel to help stabilise Liberia, and we did the same thing for Sierra Leone. We also did the same thing in Gambia about two to three years ago, and now Guinea Bissau.
“So, we continue to showcase our big brotherliness by assisting and coming to the aid of sister African countries whenever there is the need. Don’t forget, ECOWAS Standby Force is there and we are using that umbrella to continue to work, function and support peace and stability within the sub-region,” Admiral Wambai said.
Addressing the Ship’s Company onboard NNS KADA, Wambai charged them to adhere to integrity, professionalism and teamwork in all ramifications during the mission. He also used the opportunity to urge the officers and men to respect the religious and cultural sensitivity of the Host Nation, while discharging their duties in line with utmost professionalism.
Earlier, the Commanding Officer of NNS KADA, Captain Reginald Adoki, briefed the FOC West on the preparedness of the ship and expressed appreciation to the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, for his support and enabling environment for the Ship’s company to embark on the voyage in support of the NIGCON of the ECOWAS Stabilization Support Mission in Guinea Bissau.
Senior naval officers who accompanied the Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command to bid NNS KADA farewell to Guinea Bissau were Rear Admiral Hamza Kaoje, the Chief Staff Officer, Headquarters Western Naval Command, and Rear Admiral Samson Bura, the Fleet Commander Western Fleet. Others are Commodores Bassey Duke, Gideon Kachim, Victor Choji and other Principal Staff Officers of the Headquarters Western Naval Command.
OnepageAfrica reports that NNS KADA- a Landing Ship Tank, was officially handed over to the Nigerian Navy on March 30, 2022 at the Damen Shipbuilding yard in the United Arab Emirate.
In May 2018, the navy had contracted Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding for the ship, when it started its fleet recapitalisation.