ONNE (RIVERS) – The Nigerian Navy yesterday began  series of proficiency drills on waterways and creeks as part of its preparation for the March 28 and April 11 elections.
Addressing newsmen during the exercise  at Onne waterways  in Rivers , the Commander of NNS Pathfinder, Port Harcourt, Commodore Godwin Ochai, said the exercise was aimed at  showcasing the  readiness of the navy for the electoral exercise.
He said the operation conformed with the navy’s mandate  of  providing maritime security for election officials, materials and the people to ensure the exercise was conducted peacefully in coastal  communities.
“This operation is a confidence building exercise that seeks to instill confidence in sea fearers and the electorate  so as to be able to exercise their democratic rights in the elections.
“Additionally, these  drills  are  a demonstration of our readiness to assist the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) with security provision on our waterways and creeks during the elections that is about to commence,’’ he said.
“ Our gun boats and personnel are strategically positioned on  different parts of the waterways and creeks for rapid response when called upon,’’ he said.
He  warned criminals and other  undesirable elements on  the waterways to stay away  as the navy would fully exercise control on  the waterways.
Ochai, who spoke through his Executive Officer, Capt. Sam Bura, expressed confidence that the navy, in collaboration with other security agencies,  would ensure that the electorate in coastal areas voted  for candidates  of their choice.
He said the exercise and the 24-hour  patrol of the coastal areas would continue  before, during and after the  elections.