Ichuku Agaba, training depot commander of Nigerian Merchant Navy Coastal Defence Force in Lagos, says the group has identified criminal hideouts on the state’s waterways.
According to NAN, Agaba said the group is prepared to take the battle to the criminals.
He said the group has joined forces with the Nigerian navy and the police to check the activities of coastal criminals in Lagos.
He said in the last eight months, the force arrested eight suspected armed robbers around Kosofe waterfront base while they were attacking citizens.
“The suspects were handed over to the police for prosecution,” he said.
“We carried out surveillance on waterways in Lagos and now know the criminal hideouts.
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“We identified them but we lack logistics to carry out arrests. We use locally made boats. We need speedboats for patrols, arms and other equipment.
“We want the government to empower us; we promise that within one week, these criminal elements operating on the waterways in Lagos will be arrested. We have the manpower, but lack logistics.
“I have written to Lagos state government for logistics; if we have the necessary equipment, criminals cannot come from elsewhere to commit crime in Lagos and escape from our men.”
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Agaba said another major challenge facing the force is the welfare of their personnel.
He said the personnel is currently operating from make-shift tents at their Kosofe waterfront base in Ogudu Orin-Oke.
“We don’t have basic salary; we contribute money, foods and material things with which we sustain ourselves. Some people bring water and other needed things. That is why we appeal to the state and the federal government for logistics,’’ he said.