Ben Ezechime, Enugu
A group, Concerned Igbo Eze North Youths (CINY), a sociocultural non-profit Organisation from Igbo Eze North Local Government Area of Enugu State, has risen in staunch defence of Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, Nigeria’s Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), over allegations of fraud levelled against him.
In a press statement signed by Chijioke Eze and Asoanya Ikemefuna, Chairman and Secretary respectively, the group said that Ogalla had dedicated his life and personal integrity to sanitising Nigeria’s maritime space and eradicating oil theft and racketeering.
The group commended Vice Admiral Ogalla for conducting himself with utmost professionalism and decorum in office.
According to CINY: “His efforts at plugging the leakages that facilitate the secret transportation of stolen crude oil through the high seas have been commendable, effectively challenging those who seek to exploit Nigeria and shortchange her people.
“We wish to educate those who don’t know our son and brother, Ogalla in person, that he was born on December 20, 1968, and his sterling military career took off when he enlisted in the Nigerian Defence Academy as part of the 39 Regular Combatant Course on September 16, 1987, and was commissioned into the Nigerian Navy as Sub-Lieutenant on September 19, 1992.
“He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and received the Sword of Honour as the Best Graduating Naval Cadet, recognized for his academic excellence, military training, leadership qualities, and character.”
It added that Ogalla had undergone several has courses within and outside the Nigeria including the Basic Hydrographic Course at the National Hydrographic School in Goa, India, and the Junior and Senior Staff Courses at Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji. He also completed the Higher Strategic Course at the National Defence College, Abuja, and holds a Master of Science in Strategic Studies from the University of Ibadan.
The group said the CNS had been appointed into various positions in the Navy which qualifies him to his present appointment as CNS.
“He also served as the Base Operations Officer at NNS PATHFINDER, where he played a vital role in combating oil theft and other economic crimes.
“His appointment as CNS marked a crucial juncture in the nation’s naval history.
“His dedication, competence, and impeccable record have already brought about significant changes beneficial to national security and the fight against maritime criminality, ” the group said.
The statement further said: “it is imperative that we recognise and reject the baseless accusations aimed at discrediting him.
“As a nation, we must stand firm against those seeking to undermine progress and accountability, allowing Vice Admiral Ogalla to continue his transformative work.
“We are deeply troubled by the actions of certain miscreants who, masquerading as angels of light, spread falsehoods against Vice Admiral Ogalla.
“These malicious individuals frivolously accuse him of indirect involvement in oil bunkering.
“It is evident that these baseless allegations stem from the narrow-mindedness of tribal bigots who cannot bear the fact that President Tinubu, displaying commendable detribalisation, appointed an Enugu Ezike-born Igbo Eze North LGA soldier of high repute to such a prestigious position aiming to combat the myriad of maritime crimes plaguing our nation.
“As Concerned Igbo Eze North Youths, we firmly denounce this political persecution aimed at a man of unwavering integrity.
“We refuse to stand idly by, as Vice Admiral Ogalla’s reputation is tarnished unjustly.
“We issue a stern warning to these profiteers who have launched an unwarranted attack on our son, urging them to desist from their malicious actions.”
“Furthermore, we respectfully implore President Tinubu to protect Ogalla and his relentless efforts in dealing with illegal oil bunkerers.
“We call upon our nation’s leadership to stand firmly against those who seek to undermine the achievements of this patriotic Nigerian and our collective struggle to sanitize Nigeria’s maritime space.
“In conclusion, we call upon all well-meaning Nigerians to rally behind Vice Admiral Ogalla and support the ongoing efforts to secure our nation’s interests. Let us unite in holding accountable those who seek to exploit our resources for personal gains.
“Together, we can ensure justice prevails and our maritime space becomes a beacon of security and integrity, ” CINY concluded.