The Nigerian Navy said on Friday it had concluded plans to sensitise riverine communities in Anambra to possible security threats on the nation’s waterways.
The Commanding Officer of the Navy Outpost in Onitsha, Navy Capt. Mike Oamen, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Onitsha, Anambra, that awareness campaign was to strengthen the level of security in the state.
Oamen said the awareness would enable the communities to give informed and well-articulated messages on activities along the water-line to the navy.
“We intend to make sure we show presence in all these communities and try to inform them on the possible threats that could happen on water.
“Anytime they see some vessels that are not clearly marked – because we have ensured that all vessels plying the waterways are properly marked and are identifiable – they can reach us quickly because we have given them our telephone numbers.
“That is how we work; once we get the information we move and quickly arrest the situation.
“Everybody should be vigilant and make sure they report to the nearest security agency anything they think is suspicious.“
NAN reports that the River Niger runs through the seven council areas in Anambra North Senatorial zone, which includes Anambra East, Anambra West, Ayemalum, Ogbaru, Onitsha North, Onitsha South and Oyi local government areas.
The commander, however, advised criminals, oil bunkerers, pirates and smugglers to steer clear of the waterways in Anambra.
“Those people, it is clear that their days of operation on the waterways here are over,“ he said.