The Western Naval Command on Friday said it was ready to prevent miscreants from using the waterways to cause harm or disrupt Saturday’s governorship and Houses of Assembly elections.
The Flag Officer Commanding, Western Naval Command, Rear Adm. Jonathan Ango, spoke at a media briefing in Lagos on the command’s preparation ahead of the polls.
“The Nigerian Navy is very much ready and up to the task to prevent any hoodlum or miscreant from disrupting the elections,” he said.
Ango said that most of the naval capital ships were at sea and were patrolling the waterways in order to ensure smooth conduct of the elections.
“We have deployed four capital vessels and two coastal patrol boats.
“We also have four inshore patrol boats that are also patrolling the waterways and I assure Lagosians that the waterways will be cool and calm during and after the elections.
“In the process too, we are going to assist the police and INEC in the movement of electoral materials to the riverine areas.
“And on land, we also have a company of our men on standby to assist the police in flashpoint areas in ensuring a smooth conduct of the election,’’ he said.
Ango said that men of the command, in an overnight operation, arrested one suspected pirate, while nine others escaped with injuries.
According to him, the incident occurred while the naval officers were patrolling the waterways ahead of the elections.
“One of our ships raised an alarm while on patrol at 1:20 a.m. on Thursday morning that she was under attack by pirates.
“One of our patrol boats that was close by went immediately to her rescue.
“In the process, we encountered two boats loaded with pirates with intention to either kidnap foreigners on board or steal products and there was exchange of fire.
“We managed to dislodge the pirates from the attack; we injured a few of them and captured one of them, whom we brought to the command for proper investigation,” he said. (NAN)