Navy Denies Harrasing Workers At Church Of Christ Building In Akwa Ibom

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Udom Emmanuel


By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo


The Nigerian Navy (NNS) Jubilee in Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom State has said that allegations that officers of the command beat up workers  at the site of Church of Christ building near the base was false.
Base Operations Officer of NN Jubilee, Navy Cdr. Morgan Etuk while speaking with journalists on Thursday on the complaint by the Church leadership, said Naval officers were law abiding citizens and not animals that would start beating people up.
The leadership of the Church through one Dr Inemesit Ekanem who is a Medical Doctor and member of the Church had complained alleging incessant harrasments and disruptions of the church project work opposite the Base by officers of the Command.
Rather he said that the Command has made frantic efforts to appeal to the Church against building a structure near the Base for security reason.
According to Cdr Etuk, the Command would not allow anyone to construct a storey building directly opposite the Base main gate due to security implication.

Etuk, while reacting to allegations of disruptions of works said every military establishment the world over must have a buffer zone,
He said that when the church workers came to the site on Saturday, March 12, one of the officers of the Base went and told them of the need for a round table discussion, which they ignored.
He said the Base had dialogues with the Church leadership for  four times on the need to relocate the structure from opposite the Base entrance, but they refused.
“This is a military establishment and every military establishment all over the world must have a buffer zone, a safety zone. So this military establishment is not an exception. 
“However, when they came that Saturday one of our officers went to them and said not to continue. That was not the first time, they were told not to continue with the work. 
“We told them the need to come, so we have a round table discussion because that church if erected will become a security threat to this base.
“If you check our security architecture you will see drums and sentries stationed all over the place. These are some of the things we use to protect this place. 
“Coming to erect that structure, which they said is even a storey building, somebody can go there and use it as an observation post to monitor what is happening inside the base. 
“As a pastor you will not tell me categorically that hundred per cent of the members don’t have any criminal tendency of intentions. 
“You heard about how criminals go about attacking military zones, killing personnel and carting away weapons, so we have to secure our base. 
“We can’t just sit down and allow a structure erected in front of us which we know fully well that that might become a security threat to us,” Etuk said.
He said the Base has no power to give any approval or authorisation for anyone to erect a structure except the Officer of National Security Adviser.
“For now that approval has not been given. So, for now we can’t allow them go ahead with that job knowing fully well that it will be a security threat to us,” he said.

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