President Jonathan inaugurates four warships; ...reiterates pledge to rout Boko Haram

President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday in Lagos reiterated the pledge of his administration and the armed forces to rout the Boko Haram sect for good, especially in the North-east, in the light of the forthcoming elections.

Jonathan made this disclosure at the commissioning of the four Nigerian Navy warships- Nigerian Navy Ships (NNS) Centenary, Okpabana, Sagbama and Prosperity.

While NNS Okpabana is a high endurance cutter ship acquired from the United States of America, NNS Centenary was acquired from China and the duo of NNS Prosperity and Sagbama are patrol boats from China and Iceland respectively.

At the commissioning were the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Alex Badeh; the Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Usman Jibrin; the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Kenneth Minimah; the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosun and the Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abba.

Others were the Chairman ,House Committee on Navy, Senator Chris Anyanwu; the Minister of Defence, Gusau Mohammed and National Chairman, People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Adamu Muazu, among other senior and retired military personnel as well as the diplomatic corps.

After the commissioning and unveiling of the ships names, Jonathan, while commending the efforts of the service chiefs urged them to continue to protect Nigerians.

He said they will leave no stone unturned to improve the capacity of the Nigerian Armed Forces, adding that they have improved the technical capacity of the army as they work in harmony with the service chiefs to ensure that the country does not disintegrate.
He said, “Let me use this platform to promise Nigerian countrymen and women that we will rout Boko Haram and to achieve this, capacity has been increased sufficiently and our officers and men are doing wonderfully well in the North.

“The commissioning gives me the opportunity to once again reaffirm my confidence in the competence and commitment of the officers, ratings and civilian staff of the NN in the fight against insurgency and the instability in parts of the country.”
Expressing his delight at commissioning the four ships, the first time since Shehu Shagari’s regime, he said although the level of crude oil theft has reduced, gas pipeline meant for power generation are still being vandalised.

On the efforts of the administration to recapitalise the fleet of the NN, he said, “As the lead maritime security agency, the NN deserves all the support it needs to effectively carry out its statutory roles.
“Thus, in spite of other pressing demands, my administration has continued to support the fleet recapitalisation pillar of the NN Transformation Plan 2011-2020, which was formulated to support the realisation of the goals of the federal government’s transformation agenda.

“The four ships being commissioned today are part of a total of eight ships that are expected to be commissioned into the NN fleet in 2015.

“I wish to reassure the navy that my administration will not waiver in its support to the capacity building effort of the NN.

“On your part, the Government and people of Nigeria expect you to ensure judicious and productive use of these assets to deliver the much desired maritime security.”

Credit: Chiemelie Ezeobi/ThisDay