Nigerian Navy has extended its monthly medical outreach to rural coastal communities in Bayelsa State, as part of its effort to promote a cordial relationship with the communities where it operates.The medical team at the Central Naval Command (CNC), which comprises of doctors, pharmacists, ophthalmologists and other medical professionals, offered full day free services at Otua community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state, south-south Nigeria.
Flagging off the event, the Flag Officer Commanding CNC, Rear Admiral Mohammed Garba, noted that the free medical mission would henceforth, focus on rural communities who lack access to basic health services in Bayelsa State.
“The navy remains committed to building a cordial relationship with you our host community. We will do this by what you are seeing now.
“We are here to provide free medical and humanitarian services to the people of this community,” he said.
Rear Admiral Garba also urged the people to support the Navy in its effort to stamp out oil theft and prevent sabotage on oil installations within their communities.
On his part, an indigene of Otua community and a retired Rear Admiral, Thomas Lokoson, urged the people to desist from oil theft and pipeline vandalism, saying it results to self-inflicted adverse consequences that could be prevented.
He noted that oil leaks and spills resulting from pipeline breach by vandals pollute waterways and farmlands as well as threaten the livelihood of residents in the community.
The retired naval officer regretted that the funds that would have been channeled to development were used for clean-up exercises to solve environmental problems that were avoidable.
The traditional ruler of Otua community, Edward Tokpo, who also benefitted from the free medical mission, applauded the Nigerian Navy for the gesture.
“This is the first in my over 40 years reign as the paramount ruler of this community that we are experiencing this kindness. Thank you Navy, you have indeed done well,” he said.
Mr Tokpo further pledged the cooperation and support of the community to the Nigerian Navy in its effort to secure oil facilities and the coastal communities.