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Boat Operators Calls For More Marine Police To Fight Crimes On Lagos Waterways

The Association of Tourist Boat Operators and Water Transport of Nigeria has called for more marine police officers to combat crimes on the Lagos State waterways.

The ATBOWATN President, Tarzan Balogun, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Tuesday.

Balogun said with the security challenges in Nigeria, the waterways had become alternative routes of escape for criminals.

He said the federal and state governments should, in addition to deploying more officers, provide the necessities for them to function effectively and efficiently.

For a smooth operation, he suggested the provision of new speed boats with big engine horsepower and improved maintenance.

In addition, he mentioned the lighting up of waterways and the supply of powerful ammunition as some of the other areas to improve upon.

According to him, if all the aforementioned basic needs are provided, it will help to fight kidnapping and other criminal activities on the waterways.

“The recent kidnapping of a sand dredger in the Eti-Osa area was allegedly carried out through the waterways.

“Pipeline vandals carry out their evil deeds on the waterways and also escape through the same route.

“The waterways have become escape routes for evildoers, therefore, there is a need to mount and boost security on the waterways by deploying more marine police and equipping them with basic needs,” he said.

Balogun said the illegal and brazen activities of pirates, kidnappers and bunkers on the waterways had become unbearable, calling the state and federal governments to team up and address.

“It is high time the government found a lasting solution to activities of bandits on our waterways before the situation gets completely out of hand,” Balogun said.

Last November, the Western Naval Command inaugurated “Operation Water Guard” in the Badagry area of the state.

The inauguration was part of moves to combat smuggling, piracy, oil theft, and other illicit activities plaguing the maritime space.

The Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral MB Hassan, during the inauguration of the operation, said the exercise was to protect the nation’s economy.

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