The tempest being battled by the navy ship now could be an allegation that it grabs land in elements of Abuja. Numerous land homeowners in Asokoro, Bwari, Karshi, Airport Highway, Wuse and Maitama have lamented that naval officers have been “grabbing” their land and intimidating them. Have been this true, CNS Gambo would qualify as an admiral of the fleet and land!

For little recognized causes, the Nigerian Navy has been getting unhealthy press in latest occasions. I’ll cite a minimum of 4 storms behind, upon and forward of the navy ship. It has weathered one or two, and it has to resist the others to keep away from hitting an iceberg because the RMS Titanic did.

One story that went viral on social media final month concerned a video footage displaying “militants” attacking a facility within the Niger Delta and taking pictures three naval officers “useless”. It turned out that the “assault” was a army simulation performed by the navy’s Particular Boat Service, within the presence of the mainstream media, together with the BBC and a few Nigerian TV stations and newspapers. None of them reported what occurred, nonetheless, till the navy issued a rebuttal.

Once more, final week, some public commentators stopped wanting calling for the sack of the Chief of Naval Workers, Vice-Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, for daring to website a naval base in his house state. A savannah space like Kano, one argued, just isn’t deserving of a naval base, for it has no river deep sufficient to maintain a ship afloat. One other commentator on tv described Kano as a desert! On social media, each the knowledgeable and the uninformed had a discipline day lambasting the navy and its boss.

However the naval chief has carried out nothing flawed. Rating naval officers I spoke with defined that the navy additionally operates on land: A naval base just isn’t essentially for fight however is also an academy. All naval institutions and models are known as bases. And when they’re for operations, coaching, logistics or administration, they’re known as “stone frigates”; some don’t must have a waterfront. “There may be the Navy Finance and Logistics Faculty at Owerrinta, Abia State – there isn’t any sea there. The logistics half is being moved to Kano,” a commodore who refused to talk for attribution mentioned.

To decongest its presence in Lagos, the navy has expanded to areas apart from Lagos, Calabar, Warri and Port Harcourt, such because the: College of Armament Know-how in Kachia, Kaduna State; College of Well being Sciences, Offa, Kwara State; Command Naval Drafting, relocated to Lokoja, Kogi State; College of Music in Ota, Ogun State. Then there’s Owerrinta already talked about. The College of Communication and Data Know-how goes to Ife, Osun State.

Acquisition of platforms is necessary, however it will possibly’t substitute for constructing the character of males. Whereas constructing platforms – maybe together with on Abuja land – Admiral Gambo would do nicely to think about the consolation of different compatriots who might not be serving within the armed forces. The safety and welfare of the individuals, our Structure says, shall be the first function of presidency.

The Kano base was meant to stability army formations within the nation, I used to be instructed. And what’s this balancing act? Two new bases are actually going to Lekki in Lagos State and Oguta in Imo State.

Kano State governor Abdullahi Ganduje has provided 100 hectares of land for the brand new naval base in his state, even because the CNS has appointed Captain Muhammad Abubakar Alhassan as its appearing commander. By doing so, he has merely adopted a convention set by former naval chiefs and different influential leaders: The bottom at Owerrinta got here, due to Admiral Amadi Ikwechegh. Bamanga Tukur’s spouse is from Calabar, and the city needed to win a base. There are different examples. Is it Gambo that ought to ignore his personal hometown?

The tempest being battled by the navy ship now could be an allegation that it grabs land in elements of Abuja. Numerous land homeowners in Asokoro, Bwari, Karshi, Airport Highway, Wuse and Maitama have lamented that naval officers have been “grabbing” their land and intimidating them. Have been this true, CNS Gambo would qualify as an admiral of the fleet and land! It’s the FCT Minister who oversees land in Abuja, not a army establishment. And if there’s a disagreement between the CNS and the Minister, they need to a minimum of undergo the Chief of Defence Workers or the Secretary to Authorities of the Federation or President Buhari. Fortunately, the FCDA has stepped in: Government Secretary Mrs Zali Ahmed mentioned a committee was bringing the navy, personal builders and Abuja indigenes to a roundtable. It ought to work expeditiously for peace.

You may surprise what my curiosity within the navy is. Reply: the navy is my pal. In 1983 I used to be truly on the verge of becoming a member of the armed pressure, having handed the examination into the Naval Faculty in Onne, Rivers State. Once I left secondary college the earlier yr and was job-hunting in Port Harcourt, what I admired most concerning the navy was its uniform. On one event I had stopped well-dressed naval officers within the streets of Port Harcourt to inquire how I might change into one in every of them. They inspired me. After the coaching interval, they instructed me, I might go house as a sub-lieutenant and with a private automotive. Lengthy story brief, I rejected the provide as a result of I used to be an solely son! If I had joined the navy then – and survived the chances – maybe I might have retired by now.

So, my recommendation to my naval mates is: Comply with the rule of regulation. We’ve handed the period of the jackboots. Whereas the constructing of naval bases may look odd, an obsession with land issues may counsel an ulterior motive as 2023 approaches.

At age 55, Gambo too ought to be making ready for retirement. He ought to resist strain from his colleagues who could be looking for brief cuts to riches. Those that fell to such strain prior to now – resembling former Police IG Tafa Balogun and former Air Power Chief Alex Barde – are ugly reminders. Typically, it’s the final straw that breaks the camel’s again.

Vice-Marshall Gambo appeared to not have headed a army command till his appointment as CNS in January this yr. He was an “underwater warfare specialist with sub-specialisation in intelligence”. In different phrases, fight was not his forte as a naval officer. For a lot of his profession, he labored as an intelligence officer. Now he ought to reveal prowess in securing lives and property. Each service chief’s efficiency is greatest judged by the state of safety within the nation. And I believe that was the marching order they obtained from the president after their appointments in January.

Gambo was acutely aware of that order when he addressed officers and scores of the Japanese Naval Command in Calabar in Might: “The Nigerian Navy has been doing its job at curbing insecurity like sea theft, piracy, together with crude oil theft and all different illicit crimes in maritime area. The extra efforts we’re making are within the acquisition of extra platforms.”

Acquisition of platforms is necessary, however it will possibly’t substitute for constructing the character of males. Whereas constructing platforms – maybe together with on Abuja land – Admiral Gambo would do nicely to think about the consolation of different compatriots who might not be serving within the armed forces. The safety and welfare of the individuals, our Structure says, shall be the first function of presidency.

The CNS ought to count on a storm additionally from the Navy Holdings Restricted (NHL). The NHL, whose GMD is Rear-Admiral M. Eno, and its subsidiaries, are thought of a money cow in sure circles. Among the many beneficiaries, I learnt, have been personal corporations owned by retired army officers, in addition to some serving officers making ready for all times after retirement. Has the statutory perform of preventing off exterior aggression on the excessive seas taken a again seat? Actual property improvement in selection districts of Abuja shouldn’t be a significant attraction for seafarers.

At age 55, Gambo too ought to be making ready for retirement. He ought to resist strain from his colleagues who could be looking for brief cuts to riches. Those that fell to such strain prior to now – resembling former Police IG Tafa Balogun and former Air Power Chief Alex Barde – are ugly reminders. Typically, it’s the final straw that breaks the camel’s again.

Aniebo Nwamu, a serial entrepreneur, writes from Abuja; SMS/WhatsApp solely: +234-8054100220; Electronic mail: eyeway4elearn@gmail.com.

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