By Oghenemairo Ozah
The Nigerian Navy has pledged its readiness and availability to give its security support to ensure a successful 2023 elections.
The Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral YB Wambai, stated this on Saturday in Lagos, during the Command’s first quarterly route march.
The exercise which took off from NNS Beecroft Harbour road, Apapa, saw personnel march through Ijora, Moshood Abiola Way , Costain, and terminated at the take-off point.
Admiral Wambai charged the personnel on decorum, ability to relate well with the civilian populace, be law-abiding, be worthy ambassadors of the Nigerian Armed Forces, particularly making the navy proud, and to be conversant with the Code of Conduct for the general elections coming up in a week’s time.
His words: “I emphasize that we need to continue to be law-abiding as well as maintain the highest standard of relating with our civilian populace and other relevant stakeholders in the security sector.
“It is, therefore, imperative with the coming elections that personnel must exemplify discipline, integrity and decorum at all times, and particularly comport themselves in line with the Armed Forces of Nigeria Code of Conduct for elections.
“ In this regard, I call on all of you personnel to be conversant with the provisions of the Code of Conduct, and above all, we must strive to be worthy ambassadors of the Armed Forces of Nigerian and in particular, the Nigerian Navy.
“I am indeed impressed by the large turnout as well as the high moral of personnel during the conduct of this first quarter route march, which also marks as a ‘show- of –force’ to tell everybody that we are able, ready and available to carry out our constitutional role to support a successful election of year 2023.”
The route march, which usually holds quarterly, aims at keeping personnel fit, maintain sound mind and always prepared to undertake their constitutional assignments.
Addressing the participants at the completion of the exercise, Admiral Wambai said that the route march took place simultaneously across all naval formations in the country.
He said that in Lagos, “The exercise took place in three different legs; this being the first leg, the second leg is at NNS Quorra, and the third leg is at the Nigerian Navy Ship Wey, at Ojo.”
Emphasising that the Military prides itself in keeping personnel fit for the calling of its duties, Wambai said that the route march fosters espirit de corps, thus providing a suitable environment for relaxation.
He also said that only very fit personnel could perform the duties needed to deter criminality, particularly in periods where the military is expected to support the Nigerian Police Force in providing security during the year 2023 elections.
He reminded the personnel of the exercises ahead of them after this route march, while appreciating them for their performances during the recent sea exercise known as Obangame Express, aimed at ensuring security in the Gulf of Guinea.
He said that the route march, done in line with the directives of the Chief of Naval Staff, would not only energize the Nigerian navy, but would also enhance her personnel as a well-motivated and ready naval force in the discharge of her constitutional mandate and other assigned roles in fulfilment of national security.
“Having stated that, let me congratulate all of you on the successful conduct of Exercise Obangame 2023, which was held earlier in the month , that marked the first in series of activities that we are expected to perform as a Command and as a navy.
“There are series of activities lined up. The next one we are about to embark into is the election year 2023, which starts on the 25th of February, precisely one week from today, with the Presidential and National Assembly elections.
“While you have done well with exercise Obangame, there are still more exercises and occasions to be conducted. I call on all of you to continue to work well with the dexterity, the effort and professionalism as exhibited during the exercise Obangame in the subsequent exercises and operations we are to conduct,” Wambai said.
He expressed his expectations that the personnel would build on the present momentum as the year progresses.