Poised to strengthen its operations in the Niger Delta region, a new Flag Officer Commanding the Eastern Naval Command has taken over the mantle of leadership.
He is Rear Admiral Victor Olugbemi Adedipe, the immediate past Deputy Commandant of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, Kaduna State in north central Nigeria.
Rear Admiral Adedipe, who took over from Rear Admiral James Oladapo Oluwole, assured officers and ratings of the Nigerian Navy of his commitment to build on the legacies of his predecessor.
Adedipe stated that with the support of personnel and its host communities in the Niger Delta region, the mission and vision of the Chief of Naval Staff for a better position Nigeria Navy would be realized.
He said “I am coming on board with renewed vigor to add value to what my predecessor has done in furtherance of the strategic directive of the Chief of Naval Staff and that is ensuring that peace is sustained within the area.”
“With the support of the officers and men, I will also ensure that those constantly attacking and plundering our collective national resources are on check,” added Adedipe.
While pledging commitment to tackling challenges on the nation’s waterways, the new FOC noted “the constitutional mandate of the Nigeria navy has not changed.
Principally, it is to ensure the protection of Nigerian’s territorial integrity in the maritime environment and more importantly to protect the national strategic assets that are within the confines of the area of operational responsibility of the Eastern Naval Command.”
Earlier, the out-gone Flag Officer Commanding the Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral James Oluwole described his fifth tour of duty in the Command as satisfactory and challenging.
Rear Admiral Oluwole noted that the support and cooperation of personnel, maritime stakeholders in the region and host communities were evident in the feat achieved such as in the renovation of educational structures for the children, living quarters of both officers and ratings as well as building of social facilities like the Navy Officers Wives Secretariat in Calabar.
Oluwole, who attributed his achievements to God, remarked that other areas of successes included “medical outreaches to communities for better civil military relationship, while several sea exercises were undertaken to boost the capacity of the officers and men of the command.”
According to him, “looking back, I would say I have left a few legacies in that we were able to conceptualize some operations such as ‘River Sweep’; there are other operations that brought desired results in that militancy and illegal activities along the water ways have reduced and Nigeria is better for it.
In the area of welfare, we have been able to put together, under the directive of the Chief of Naval Staff, good housing for the men and the NOWA secretariat. Our legacies also extended to our school at Akpabuyo too. So, I would say we have done well.”
A parade was held in honour of the out-gone FOC, Rear Admiral Oluwole, who has been reassigned as the new Chief of Logistics, Naval headquarters, Abuja.