By Desmond Ejibas
Bonny – The Nigerian Navy has called for more effective collaboration between security agencies and the people to tackle crime in Rivers.
Capt. Kolawole Oguntuga, the Commanding Officer, Forward Operating Base, Bonny, made the call on Thursday at the inauguration of a free medical outreach on Thursday in Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers.
The medical outreach was organised by the Nigerian Navy as part of a week-long celebration to commemorate its 63rd anniversary.
According to Oguntuga, the navy and other sister security agencies are ready to confront illegal bunkers, oil thieves, sea pirates, kidnappers, and robbers, among others.
“We are for the people as well as working for the people by providing security. But, we cannot achieve our mandate of proving security without the necessary support from the people.
“We need to work together to be able to end insecurity in the state.
“The people should work with us to end criminality that is ravaging our society,” he said.
Oguntuga added that the navy was currently strengthening its relationship with the people with a view to securing the country’s maritime domain from criminals.
“The navy under Vice Adm. Ibok-Ete Ibas is interested in building the nation, and one area he is doing this is provision of quality healthcare services to our host communities.
“So, we are doing this free medical outreach to inform the people that the navy and indeed the military are interested in our host communities,” he said.
The naval officer said that residents would have the opportunity to check their blood pressures and blood sugar levels as well as obtain medication for ailments detected during the checks.
He said that those diagnosed with major ailments would be referred to the General Hospital in Bonny as well as to other hospitals in Port Harcourt for treatment.
Speaking, the Commander, Nigerian Navy Reference Hospital, Calabar, Surgeon Commander Uchenna Okeke, who led naval medical team from Cross River, assured that patients would be diagnosed and treated.
She said that treatment would also be given to residents found with disorders in their dentition while those with impaired eye sight would be given free glasses.
One of the beneficiaries, Chinyere Brown, commended the navy, saying that most residents found it difficult to access healthcare services partly due to distance between Bonny Island and Port Harcourt.
“I am a high blood pressure and high sugar level patient. So, I’m very happy that they (navy) are here today to screen and give us drugs for our ailments,” she said.
Another beneficiary, Bob-Manuel Green, said he was given free correctional glasses after the health workers found a defect in his left eye.