The Nigerian Navy, Forward Operating Base, Ibaka, in Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State has reiterated that its core duty is to protect legitimate users of the high sea and not to collect any form of gratification from the people.
The Base Operation Officer, Lt. commander Samuel Olowookere stated this in a meeting with representatives and stakeholders of the fishermen Association in Ibaka, Mbo LGA of the State following rumour that naval personnel collects money from fishermen to protect them at high sea, during fishing expeditions.
Olowookere also described as false, reports that over 700 sea militants invaded Ibaka beach and kidnapped five fishermen and seized nine engines.
He reasoned that if over 700 sea pirates invaded the beach, the base wouldn’t have been functional by now.
He said, “it is not true that over 700 pirates invaded Ibaka community. If over 700 sea pirates invaded Ibaka, I am not sure the base will be functioning by now, maybe I would have been dead, because they would have overrun every living thing within this area.
“Also, we don’t collect money for work. We are here to protect fishermen and other legitimate users of water as a means of transportation or business.”