Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) KADA has embarked on a voyage to Guinea Bissau on Saturday 6 August 2022, as part of the strategic sealift role of the Nigerian Navy. The voyage is her first national assignment since she arrived Nigeria from the United Arab Emirates on 27 May 2022. The Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, who was represented by the Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Yakubu Wambai disclosed onboard the new Landing Ship Transport that, “as part of the efforts of Nigeria in strengthening and enhancing security in the West African Sub-Region, NNS KADA has embarked military wares and logistics for the Nigerian Contingent (NIGCON) being part of the ECOWAS Stabilization Support Mission in Guinea Bissau.” He reiterated that the history of peace keeping in Africa and beyond cannot be written without mentioning the commitment and sacrifices of Nigeria. Since independence in 1960, Nigeria’s commitment has grown to be widely recognized in the international community as an unrelenting advocate of global peace, hence it is crucial for her continual involvement in peace keeping missions in Africa and beyond.
The Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command recalled that an ECOWAS contingent was deployed to Guinea Bissau under the auspices of the ECOWAS Stabilization Support Force after the President of Guinea Bissau, President Umaro Sisoco Embalo escaped a coup attempt in February 2022. Troops of Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana and Ivory Coast make up the ECOWAS Stabilization Support Mission in Guinea Bissau with one-year renewable mandate to stabilize the country. NNS KADA is therefore embarking on the voyage to deliver the outstanding logistics and stores of the NIGCON. By this effort, the capability of the new ship will be brought to bear in support of the ECOWAS mandate and in line with Nigeria’s Foreign Policy objective which focuses on Africa. It was added that the decommissioned NNS AMBE and OFIOM (both Landing Ship Tanks) had played similar roles before and during the ECOMOG operations in the 1980s and 1990s.
Furthermore, the Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command buttressed that for any peace keeping operation involving Nigeria, the Nigerian Navy plays general and specific roles. These roles include sea lifting of troops and logistics, Sea Surveillance, Blockade, Gun Fire Support, Control of Shipping and Sea Lane of Communication. Others are Search and Rescue Mission, policing, conveying of relief materials amongst others. Rear Admiral Yakubu Wambai while addressing the Ship’s Company onboard NNS KADA charged them to adhere to integrity, professionalism and teamwork in all ramifications during the mission. He also used the opportunity to urge the officers and men to respect the religious and cultural sensitivity of the Host Nation while discharging their duties in line with utmost professionalism.
On his part, the Commanding Officer NNS KADA, Navy Captain Reginald Adoki, prior to the departure of the ship, showed appreciation to the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, for his support and enabling ambiance for the Ship’s company to embark on the voyage in support of the NIGCON of the ECOWAS Stabilization Support Mission in Guinea Bissau.
The senior naval officers that accompanied the Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command to bid NNS KADA farewell to Guinea Bissau were, Rear Admiral Hamza Kaoje, the Chief Staff Officer, Headquarters Western Naval Command and Rear Admiral Samson Bura, the Fleet Commander Western Fleet. Others are commodores Bassey Duke, Gideon Kachim, Victor Choji and other Principal Staff Officers of the Headquarters Western Naval Command.