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Niger Delta Navy chief says dialogue needed for lasting peace in troubled region

The commanding officer said such cooperation was necessary to ensure effective  containment of maritime crime in the region.

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Niger Delta Avengers

(Punch)

The Nigerian Navy, on Saturday appealed to communities in the Niger Delta to dialogue with the Federal Government, so as to amicably address their grievances and  ensure lasting peace in the region.

Rear Admiral Muhammed Garuba, the Flag Officer Commanding, Central Naval Command, made the appeal at the flag off of a free medical outreach programme at Edepie community in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa.

He noted that dialogue was a better approach to resolving conflicts, as it ensures that the interests of all parties were accommodated and addressed.

Garuba expressed the Navy’s appreciation to the community for its support and cooperation, and said that the free medical programme was to further promote mutual relations between the two.

The commanding officer said such cooperation was necessary to ensure effective  containment of maritime crime in the region.

He said that so far, five communities in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa capital, have benefitted from the programme, which was part of the agenda of the Chief of Naval Staff, to promote strategic partnership with civilians.

He assured members of the Edepie community that the medical mission was adequately equipped to cater for the medical needs of children and adults in the area.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that more than 1,000 residents were attended to by the medical team.

NAN further reports that health officials from the Bayelsa Ministry of Health were also on hand to immunise children below five years, against childhood killer diseases.

The Traditional Ruler of Edepie community applauded the Navy for the “friendly gesture” at a time of biting economic hardship which had limited the spending powers of household.

He pledged that the community would sustain the mutual relationship with the Navy.

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