The Nigerian Navy has launched 25 gunboats to tackle the menace of kidnapping and pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta.
The Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral, Ibok Ekwe Abas, said he inaugurated the gunboats in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, to support naval operations against kidnapping and other criminalities in the maritime environment.
Abas, who spoke at the Headquarters of the Central Naval Command (CNC), Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, on Wednesday said active community participation was required to stamp out kidnapping and pipeline vandalism.
Abas spoke shortly after meeting with the senior officials and commanders of the CNC behind closed doors.
He said since kidnappers operate on land, live among people and return to the creeks with their victims, members of the public should furnish security agencies with information about such individuals.
He said: “What we expect from the members of the public is to cooperate with the security services not just the Navy alone by providing information because these guys who kidnap hideaway our brothers and sisters and they stay with us.
“While the Navy is not expected to be on these points at all the time, we expect that we have the cooperation from the members of the public. We have just launched 25 gunboats which will all go to support navy operations and as time goes on more boats are going to be inducted into the various creeks and operations. “