Poised to deal with insecurity in the country, the Nigerian Navy has promised to deploy additional manpower and logistics to Imo State in particular, with a view to dealing with known flash points that constitute security challenge in the area, particularly on the blue sea routes.
The assurance was given by the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ikechukwu Ogalla who paid a courtesy visit to Governor Hope Uzodimma with key members of his Command at the New Exco Chambers, Government House, Owerri on Wednesday.
Vice Admiral Ogalla spoke as Governor Uzodimma assured him of the preparedness of Imo State under his watch and the South East Governors which he serves as their Chairman, to do everything possible to support the Navy and other security agencies to discharge their constitutional responsibility and mandate in the interest of the people.
Governor Uzodimma expressed gratitude to God and President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on behalf of the Government and people of Imo State and the South East, over the appointment of the Chief of Naval Staff, noting that Ogalla’s appointment was the second time in the history of Nigeria that an Igbo man will be occupying the position of Chief of Naval Staff.
He thanked President Tinubu for starting in earnest to implement his campaign promises to all zones of the country and at the same time, working hard to reposition the economy to compete with that of other Nations globally.
The Governor described Vice Admiral Ogalla is “an all round professional who has paid his dues in the Naval profession” and thanked him for the kind words he used to qualify the efforts his government has made in the course of reconstructing, rehabilitating and recovering Imo State.
Governor Uzodimma reminded Ogalla that “Imo people are hardworking business men and women who only need peace and security as an encouragement to go about their normal businesses.”
He described his visit as “another assurance and hope that the security situation in Imo State will be further improved and strengthened” and reassured the Chief of Naval Staff that “on the issue of logistics and improved manpower the State will always be partners in progress.”
Governor Uzodimma reassured Ogalla that the government and people of Imo State will not take for granted that he is from the South East of Nigeria, reiterating that all that is required for him to succeed in his office will be readily made available.
He counselled him to “work hard to be remembered in National history as a role model and an Officer who came, saw and conquered.”
The Governor rounded off by reassuring the Naval Chief, on behalf of Imo people, the entire Igbo and in his capacity as the Chairman of Progressives Governor’s Forum and Chairman of Governors of South East Forum, of the total support he needs as the Chief of Naval Staff and head of the Nigerian Navy.
Earlier in his remarks, Ogalla promised to redouble manpower and logistics in Imo State and thanked the Governor for accepting to receive them in a very short notice.
“It is a testimony of the cordial relationship between the State and the Navy in Imo State,” he said, adding that “the visit will further cement our working relationship with the Government and people of Imo State.”
He acknowledged that Imo State has been strategic in the support of the Navy in achieving her maritime security objectives, noting that part of the reason for the visit was to inform the Governor that the hydrographic survey of Oguta Lake to Orashi River to the Atlantic Ocean is ready for presentation to the Governor “and with this achieved the project will then move to another level.”
Ogalla who sincerely thanked the Governor for all his assistance to the Navy and for connecting the Naval Base in Imo State to the National grid, however requested for more Patrol Vans to enable them cover more areas along the maritime coast.
Additionally, he thanked the Governor for his interventions in the construction of internal roads at the Naval School of Logistics at Owerrinta.
Also, he informed the Governor of Navy’s plans to develop Housing Scheme for their retiring officers in Imo State and requested the support of the people to succeed by availing them of vital information that will enable them maximize their performances.
He assured that to reciprocate the gesture of the State, “the criminal elements in Imo State, especially along the maritime routes, will be gotten rid of.”
The Chief of Naval Staff was accompanied on the visit by mostly Principle Officers of the Navy, the Commander 34 Artillery Brigade Obinze and the Deputy Commissioner of Police Imo State.
The Deputy Governor of Imo State, Prof Placid Njoku, the Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly, Rt.Hon Chike Olemgbe, the Secretary to Government of Imo State, Chief Cosmos Iwu, the Chief of Staff, Barr Nnamdi Anyaehie, Commissioners, other top government officials and the Chairman of Imo State Elders Council, HRH Eze Cletus Ilomuanya, joined the Governor in receiving the Chief of Naval Staff.
Chief Press Secretary and Media Adviser to the Governor