•L-R: Commodore Omobamidele Akinbami, ICT officer of the Western Naval Command, governor Dapo Abiodun and the Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command Rear Admiral Mohammed Abdulahi, the FOC paid a courtesy call on the governor in his office at Oke-Mosan Abeokuta this Monday.
Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has said that his administration would collaborate with the Nigerian Navy at ensuring the protection of the lives and properties of Nigerians living on Tongeji Island in Ipokia Local Government Area of the state.
Governor Abiodun stated this when he received the Flag Officer Commanding, Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Mohammed Abdulahi, who paid him a courtesy call in his office at Oke-Mosan Abeokuta on Monday.
The governor noted that the Island remained an essential part of Nigeria and Ogun State, noting that all efforts would be geared towards making the inhabitants of the Island feel a sense of belonging.
He said: “Tongeji Island remains a vibrant part of our country, our state and Ipokia Local Government Area. But the problem we have there is that there is no road connection to the Island.
“I must put on record the efforts of the immediate past Chief of Naval Staff in respect to insecurity and the feeling of being alienated by our people there, who feel abandoned and not being cared for. I recalled I had a meeting with the National Security Adviser on the issue of insecurity on the Island.
“That Island is a front burner project for us and again, I want to thank the Nigerian Navy for the renewed commitment they have demonstrated by the deployment of their men to that Island. Before, there was very scanty presence on that Island, but now, there are more and more presence of the men of the Navy providing security and giving our people a sense of belonging.”
Abiodun said his administration would support the Navy in securing the Island as it is blessed with abundant mineral and natural resources which the state government planned to explore in partnership with relevant stakeholders.
He speaks further: Let me assure you that we will do all we can to complement your efforts on that Island. I will put together a team to work with you in providing you with a jetty. I look forward to visiting that Island with you.
“I was meant to visit that Island with the Chief of Naval Staff sometime last year, but somehow, it did not happen. But now, I am committed. So, let us plan on when to go there with our Service Chiefs. It is important for us to go so that we can see what we can, talk to our people so that as we do that, people from the other country will know that we are marking our territory and we have not abandoned our people.”
He said as the industrial, religious and educational capital of the nation, with a lot of cross-border movements, a lot of pressure is put on the security architecture which makes security agencies in the state work extra hard.
Governor Abiodun appreciated the officers and men of the Nigerian Navy for working in synergy with other security agencies, saying this has contributed to making the state one of the most peaceful in the country.
He described the Naval boss as a soldier, intellectual and a technocrat who has excelled in the various commands he led, calling on the Navy not to be far away as the state would need their presence when the proposed seaport to be located at Olokola comes on stream.
Speaking earlier, Rear Admiral Abdulahi, called the attention of the governor to the plight of the people living on Tongeji Island who felt neglected by the government.
He said his Command had built a jetty on the Island to enable its crafts to berth, calling on the government to assist in building staff quarters in the Navy school sited on the Island.
Abdulahi said: “Tongeji Island requires the attention of the government as it affects security issues. It is important for the government to strengthen the security of the area because of the economic potential that abounds on that Island. We have established our presence there.
“But more importantly, I want the governor to please visit that Island and we on our part are ready to support you with the necessary logistics.”