David Adeniran, the Flag Officer Commanding, FOC, Eastern Naval Command, Nigerian Navy, says weak civil-military relationship jeopardises and complicates military operations.
Alternatively, he said, strong civil-military relations could be directly proportional to successful military and maritime operations.
Mr Adeniran, who is a rear-admiral, stated this on Thursday at the command’s Law Seminar at its headquarters in Calabar.
The theme of the seminar is “Improving Criminal Justice Administration in Eastern Naval Command Area of Responsibility: A Panacea for Strengthening Civil-Military Relationship”.
The FOC explained that the seminar’s theme was borne out of the need for the Navy to address pertinent challenges bedevilling its success of maritime operations.
He said it was necessary for all partners and agencies responsible for the administration of criminal justice to sit with stakeholders in Nigeria’s maritime environment to understand and address the issues at stake.
According to him, understanding and addressing the issues associated with administration of criminal justice in the maritime environment is key to improving civil-military relations in the command’s area of operations.
Mr Adeniran stated that the seminar was aimed at harmonizing the tasks of maritime stakeholders towards achieving common goal, which was to rid the maritime domain of illegalities and crimes.
“It is in realization of this that all stakeholders connected with the process of administering criminal justice within the Command’s area of operation were invited,” Mr Adeniran said.
He said that the command had some challenges which included congested jetties and bases littered with barges, vessels and trucks of drums arrested for involvement in illegalities within Nigeria’s waters.
The FOC expressed expectation from the judiciary, “as the last hope of the common man and bedrock of criminal justice administration in Nigeria’’ to hold out its ideals to aid Navy’s operations in the eastern command.
In his remarks, Deputy Governor of Cross River, Prof. Ivara Esu, said that the seminar was significant, considering that the rule of law was paramount in a democracy.
Mr Esu regretted that the Nigerian maritime environment has been challenged with threats posed by criminal activities such as crude oil theft, illegal refining of crude oil, illegal bunkering and piracy among others.
He commended the Navy for organising the seminar which was intended to seek avenues for fostering civil-military relations in combatting negative trends, and said that it was “a step in the right direction’’.
Mr Esu called for synergy among all maritime stakeholders to combat criminalities along the nation’s waterways.