The Nigerian Navy has inducted 57 new officers to join its fight against crude oil theft, sea piracy in the Niger Delta and insurgency in the North East, an official said.
Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Iboke-Ete Ibas spoke at the Presidential Commissioning of 57 Midship men of 65 Regular Course at the Nigerian Navy College (NNC) Onne, Rivers.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the mid ship men were commissioned into the rank of Sub-Lieutenant after six years of intensive training at the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA), Kaduna and in NNC.
Ibas said the officers would be deployed in operations Tsare Teku, Awatse, River Sweep and Delta Safe launched to fight pipeline vandals, sea pirates and illegal bunkers and refiners of crude oil.
“Today’s commissioning ceremony marks a shift from the previous practice wherein midship men were required to return to NDA for presidential commission.
“The new practice is part of an evolving defence policy granting the specialist services greater autonomy in fine tuning training of final year cadets preparatory to commission.
“The days when activities of naval officers were restricted to the maritime domain alone are long gone,” he said.
Ibas warned the new officers against any association with politicians and political parties before, during and after forthcoming general elections in 2019.
“As military personnel, we must remain apolitical at all times and eschew those actions and inactions that could cast aspersions on the integrity of the navy and armed forces.
“Officers must not allow themselves to be used by any mischievous or unscrupulous elements for political gains. Severe disciplinary actions await any erring personnel,” he warned.
Ibas told the new officers to see their induction into the armed forces as a call to serve the nation rather than for personal gains.
Also, Commodore Akinga Ayafa, Commandant, Nigerian Navy College (NNC) Onne, said new inductees received six months naval professional training in NNC and another four months in various naval warships.
He pointed out that the training covered navigation, seamanship, communication, chart work, astro navigation, general introduction to maritime operations and rules of the road.
Others are contemporary operations, cyber security, parade training, physical training, swimming as well as leadership and management.
“At the end of the training, five midshipmen obtained First Class grades; 41 Second Class; nine obtained Third Class and two midshipmen got a Pass,” he added.