The Nigerian Navy, Forward Operating Base (FOB), Ibaka, Mbo Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State, has said its intensified patrols along the borders of Akwa Ibom and neighbouring countries have cut down the influx of migrants into the state.
In a press release made available to newsmen on Monday in Uyo, Commanding Officer of FOB, Captain Peter Yilme, said the daily patrols of Navy gunboats from the jetty to checkmate all forms of illegalities around its area of operation has yielded results.
He explained that with the intensified patrol efforts of the Navy, rice smuggling has been grounded to a halt, adding that the efforts will be concentrated and sustained.
According to Yilme, the patrols will continue to check and prevent all forms of illegalities as well as stop irregular immigrants from the Republic of Cameroon and neighbouring countries from gaining entry into the state until the COVID-19 threat is over.
He said: “In compliance with directives from Naval headquarters received through headquarters, Eastern Naval Command and in order to maintain the Akwa Ibom state restrictions on movement on the water ways, own gunboats cast off from own jetty daily for patrol to checkmate all forms of illegalities around own area of operation, as well as to show presence.
“Efforts were concentrated to checkmate and prevent all forms of illegalities as well as stop irregular immigrants coming in from the Republic of Cameroon or other countries bordering Akwa Ibom State into own waters with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic in the country and the latest outbreak in Akwa Ibom state.
“Such patrol is to be sustained until a period when the threat of COVID-19 is no more in existence.
“It is pertinent to state that so far, FOB Ibaka patrol effort is yielding necessary results as travel restrictions within the water ways has reduced influx of migrants into Akwa Ibom state, particularly within FOB Ibaka area of operation.”