The Nigerian Navy has warned its personnel against abusing the rights of civilians in order to maintain the existing civil-military relationship.
Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Naval Command, Rear Adm. Atiku Abdulkadir, gave the warning on Saturday in Calabar while addressing ratings and officers.
Abdulkadir said the navy would not spare any of its personnel caught abusing the rights of the civilians.
“We are men and women in uniform, it is expected that we don’t abuse the rights of civilians whom we have sworn to protect.
“We must also be sound and resolute in the performance of our duties, but we must respect the rights of the civilian populace.
“There is a lot of wrong perception about the military by members of the public; we must conduct ourselves properly and observe basic rules,” he said.
According to him, it is important for personnel of the navy to follow the basic rules and do what is right in other to maintain the existing civil-military relationship.
“If you follow the basic rules and do the correct things, the interpretation will be that we are living up to expectations.
“These are the ways we must conduct ourselves so that we can positively contribute to security in the water ways and the well-being of the nation.
“If you start conducting illegal activities across the boundary, other members of the security agencies can either pick you up or report you,” he said.
According to him, the naval headquarters expected zero tolerance to illegality from the command.
The FOC said the illegalities were primarily, but not limited to, crude oil theft and illegal oil bunkering.
“We have, from time to time, recorded incidences of pipeline vandalism and sea robbery in our maritime environment.
“We have that big challenge and we must bring it to near zero occurrence and we have a time limit.
“We must work 24 hours at sea, in the water ways, and within our area of operation,” he said.