By Desmond Ejibas
Port Harcourt – The Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonishakin, on Friday enjoined new naval ratings to support and be loyal to President Muhammadu Buhari as the Commander -in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.
Olonishakin gave the task at the passing out parade (POP) of batch 25 trainees of the Nigerian Navy Basic Training School (NNBTS), Onne in Rivers.
He said the new ratings would be deployed to the North-East and the Niger Delta to complement other security forces for internal security operations.
According to him, 1,159 ratings passed out from the training exercise which comprised of 1,025 male and 134 female.
“The Nigerian Navy is actively engaged in the collective national effort to resolve challenges which covers insurgency and terrorism in the North-East.
“Other challenges includes crude oil theft, illegal bunkering, pipeline vandalism, illegal refining of petroleum products with its tremendous ecological damage to the environment.
“The new ratings would be deployed to various ongoing efforts to stamp out these security challenges and armed robbery and piracy in our waterways and at the Gulf of Guinea,” he said.
Olonishakin said the training exercise began on Nov. 6 and added that the ratings were trained and motivated to perform all tasks incumbent on the navy.
He said that ratings underwent naval courses, such as, seamanship, navigation, weapons handling, naval discipline, parade drills and swimming.
The defence chief said that aside naval courses, the ratings took courses in Mathematics, English and French languages to sharpen assimilation and broaden their knowledge.
“The Nigerian Navy under the current leadership has witnessed unprecedented infrastructural development, equipment induction, platforms acquisitions and logistics provisioning,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Olonishakin inaugurated three blocks of 40 rooms and two blocks of 28 rooms for both trainees and officers; and a communication centre.
The CDS was accompanied by the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice-Adm. Ibok Ete Ibas , other service chiefs and top military commanders.