The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ikechukwu Ogalla, has commended the Abia State Governor, Dr Alex Otti for his approach towards tackling insecurity in the state.
The Naval Chief gave the commendation when he paid a working visit to the Governor on Wednesday in Isialangwa.
Vice Admiral Ogalla’s visit comes barely 24 hours after Governor Otti launched the joint security initiative codenamed, ‘Operation Crush,’ to arrest the troubling incidents of kidnapping and armed banditry in the state, which had lingered for some years, especially in the border areas of Umunneochi and Isuikwuato.
‘Operation Crush’ is a multi-agency taskforce comprising the Nigerian Army, Navy, Police, DSS, Civil Defence and all other security agencies.
According to a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to governor, Kazie Uko, Vice Admiral Ogalla thanked Governor Otti for the payment of the operational allowances of the Nigerian Navy and other security agencies in the State, and noted that the problem of insecurity is a very serious issue, not only in the South East but the whole country.
He quoted the Chief of Naval Staff as saying: “Having visited His Excellency, we’re very impressed with the effort which he’s making towards supporting the security agencies, particularly the Nigerian Navy, in order to surmount this daunting challenge.
“We appreciate his efforts toward improving security in the state. Of course, he has made it one of his cardinal objectives, knowing fully well that without security there will be no development.
“So we commend the agenda which he has launched, which is Operation Crush, with the aim of crushing out all these bad elements which are negating the effort of government in this state and we believe that as Abia State improves, the South East will improve and the nation will be better for it.”
Welcoming the Naval Chief and his entourage, Governor Otti congratulated him on his appointment, while extending gratitude to President Bola Tinubu for the appointment, which he said the Southeast had not had in the last 30 years.
“I am very pleased to welcome the Naval Chief here. Let me use this opportunity to congratulate him for the appointment, for going through all the screenings and for being approved.
“I thank the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces for appointing one of our own. For a very long time, we have not had a Naval Chief coming from the South East. The last I could remember was over 30 years.
“We are very, very confident that you will use this opportunity to serve the people of Nigeria. You have started well, still in early days, we know that you will do very well,” Otti said.
The Governor acknowledged that security is very central to his administration’s agenda because “our agenda is an agenda of development for Abia State, which eventually rubs off on the whole of the Southeast and Nigeria.”
According to Dr. Otti, security and development go together, adding, “You may even have security without development but you cannot have development without security. The launching of operation crush is in line with that development agenda.”
Navy Commander McDonald Uba (rtd.), Special Adviser to the Governor on Security and Brig. Gen. NJ Edet, Commander 14 Brigade Ohafia, joined Governor Otti in receiving Vice Admiral Ogalla.
On the entourage of the Chief of Naval Staff were: Rear Admiral PC Nwata Flagging Officer Commanding Naval Training Command; Rear Admiral USA Chugali Flagging Officer Central Naval Command; Rear Admiral ZS Muhammed, Chief of Training and Operations NHQ; Rear Admiral LC Izu, Chief of Logistics Naval Headquarters; Rear Admiral I. Abas Chief of Naval Safety and Standards NHQ; Rear Admiral MG Oarmen, Chief Naval Transformation; Rear Admiral PE Effah Directorate of Naval Intelligence and other top Naval officers.