No fewer than 187 civilians from different parts of the country were thrilled at sea by the Nigerian Navy in Lagos in commemoration of its 63rd anniversary celebration.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the civilians who thronged the Naval Dockyard Limited embarked on a trip to the high sea, which ended late on Thursday with the members of the force.
The participating Ship, Nigerian Navy Ship Unity, took the civilians round the Lagos waters and back to the dockyard.
The civilians came with their families to celebrate with the force on its anniversary.
The Fleet Commander, Western Fleet, Commodore Elkana Jaiyeola, while speaking with newsmen onboard NNS Unity, said the trip was in commemoration of the Navy’s annual anniversary.
Jaiyeola said: “As part of the Navy’s 63rd anniversary celebration, the essence of this sea trip is to take the civilians who are the stakeholders to sea so that they can have the experience of what the sailors face onboard.
“No matter the part of the country you come from, the essence is for everybody to felicitate with us.”
The Commanding Officer of the Ship, Captain Ani Oko, who also spoke with newsmen, said it was a wonderful experience having civilians onboard.
Oko said: “It’s not everyday we have civilians sailing with us to sea, so it is a good feeling.
“We have made good friends today and such relationship would be kept to further cement the civil-military relations we are trying to build.
“We have 187 civilians onboard and it is interesting to know that people want to know what the Navy does and also appreciating the kind of work we do while at sea.”
NAN reports that NNS Unity cast off at the dockyard jetty around 12noon.
Before cast off, the Commanding Officer of the vessel ordered the ship’s crew to ensure the safety of the civilians onboard.
Personnel onboard the ship also took time to instruct the civilians on safety while onboard.
They also took time to advice visitors on how to behave while onboard and when the vessel had set sail.
The visitors were told of the need to always have their life jackets on and stay where they would be protected.
Some civilians who spoke with NAN after the trip, appreciated the Navy for what it is doing to keep the waters and Nigeria as a whole safe, saying the force was outstanding.
A lady, who came from Jos, Sandra Onyebuchi, told NAN that she did not regret having a day out with the Navy, saying it was adventurous.
“I came in from Jos because of this sea trip and I am happy I am not disappointed. The Navy is really doing a good job,” Onyebuchi said.