Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State has made a compelling appeal to the Nigerian Navy, urging them to consider the establishment of a naval base in the Ogun Waterside area of the state. The primary objective behind this request is to enhance security and safeguard the coastal regions and the well-being of the people residing there.
Governor Abiodun underscored the importance of this request by highlighting Ogun Waterside’s proximity to the Niger Delta, a region that has experienced security challenges in the past. He pointed out that individuals from the Niger Delta have previously infiltrated the area, engaging in criminal activities. Hence, the establishment of a Naval presence is seen as an imperative step, especially given that this region is also designated as the site for the state’s seaport.
The governor conveyed this appeal during a courtesy call by Rear Admiral Mustapha Bala Hassan, the Flag Officer Commanding, Western Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy, at his office in Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.
Governor Abiodun acknowledged his administration’s commitment to enhancing security in the region, exemplified by the procurement of gunboats for the police. He stressed that the presence of the Nigerian Navy would be warmly welcomed, particularly since several towns in the area are accessible only by water.
He further elaborated on the state’s plans for a port in the Olokola area, emphasizing that it falls under the purview of the Navy’s responsibilities. The governor hinted at an imminent announcement regarding this project, which has been in development for several years. He also alluded to a significant federal government initiative set to commence in the region, which would necessitate substantial Navy involvement in the territorial waters surrounding Ogun Waterside.
Governor Abiodun revealed his administration’s ambitious goal of making Ogun State an oil-producing state. In this context, he assured the Nigerian Navy of his commitment to establish a committee to collaborate with them in identifying a suitable location for an administrative facility to support their operations.
Moreover, he clarified the status of Tongeji Island in the Ipokia Government Area of the State, stating that it unequivocally belongs to Nigeria and is not subject to any ownership dispute with the Republic of Benin. The governor emphasized that the island and its residents have long been an integral part of Ogun State, with no affiliation to any other country.
In sum, Governor Abiodun’s plea for the establishment of a naval base in Ogun Waterside reflects a forward-looking vision for the region’s security and economic development, particularly in the context of the state’s aspirations to become a significant player in the oil and maritime sectors.