Many months ago, shipping to Nigeria and other countries within the maritime region became quite expensive because of the activities of pirates. At that time, security situation within the region became worse than in the Indian Ocean where Somali pirates were notorious. Right now, there is a lot of quiet because the Nigerian Navy personnel have become more effective than ever.
A joint effort by Nigerian Navy and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency has ensured the monitoring of Nigerian territorial waterways by installing satellite surveillance system for online, real time monitoring. In addition, many observers both local and international have noted the drastic reduction in the incidences of crude oil theft in Nigeria while vandals and other saboteurs are being daily apprehended by officers and men of the Nigerian Navy.
Security experts attributed recent outstanding successes of the Navy to the appointment of unassuming, humble but highly motivated Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas as Chief of Naval Staff. When Reverend Israel Adelani Akanji invited the newly appointed Chief of Naval Staff out for a thanksgiving service on that Sunday morning, many in the congregation were taken aback. Very few were aware that Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas was a member of First Baptist Church, Garki Abuja. Upon a few enquiries however, it became known that the man has been a member for years. T just happened that unlike many other Nigerians, Ibas is a quiet, gentle and easy going gentleman. He enters the church, worships quietly and leaves.
Nigeria’s 55th independent anniversary celebration was marked on October 1, 2015 but the Christian worship service for the occasion was marked on September 27, 2015. It was the same day that Ibas marked his 55th birthday. As Dr. Akanji prayed for Nigeria, Ibas was also invited for special prayers. Incidentally during the worship service later in the evening at the National Worship Centre, Abuja, the Chief of Naval Staff was specially recognised.
Vice Admiral was born on 27 September 1960 in Nko, Cross River State. He began his primary education at Nko Primary School, Nko in 1966 and completed at Big Qua Primary School, Calabar in 1971. He then proceeded to the prestigious Hope Waddell Training Institute Calabar from 1972 to 1976. Between 1977 and 1979, he attended the School of Basic Studies Ogoja before proceeding to the Nigerian Defence Academy in 1979.He enlisted into the Nigerian Defence Academy as a member of 26 Regular Course on 20 June 1979 and was commissioned Sub-Lieutenant on 1 January 1983.
Ibas has held several appointments in the Nigerian Navy. As a Midshipman, he served onboard NNS RUWAN YARO, NNS OBUMA and NNS ARADU. Due to his outstanding performance on the Senior Staff Course, he was appointed as a Directing Staff at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji from June 2000 to June 2002. He later returned to the College in January 2009 as the Director of the Department of Maritime Warfare a position he held until November 2010. His last sojourn in the College was as Deputy Commandant from January to February 2014.
The amiable Chief was later appointed Chief Staff Officer at Headquarters, Naval Training Command, Lagos from September 2010 to March 2011. In recognition of his versatility in staff duties and administration, the senior officer was appointed to the Naval Headquarters first, as the Chief of Administration from March 2011 to February 2012 and later as the Navy Secretary from February 2012 to January 2013. Thereafter, he became the Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command from January 2013 to January 2014. He was appointed Chief of Logistics in February 2014 and then the GMD/CEO of Nigerian Navy Holdings Limited in December of the same year. This was the appointment he held until he was appointed the 20th Chief of the Naval Staff on 13 July 2015.
Destined for greater heights, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas has always been promoted as at when due in all ranks. He was commissioned Sub-Lieutenant on 1 January 1983 and promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral on 28 June 2010 and elevated to the rank of Vice Admiral with effect from 13 August 2015.
In the course of a distinguished service in the Nigerian Navy, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas has earned several prestigious awards including the Silver Jubilee Medal, ECOMOG Medal, Forces Service Star, Meritorious Service Star, Distinguished Service Star and the General Service Star. Others are the Passed Staff Course (DAGGER) and a Fellow of the NDC.
He enjoys reading, watching documentaries and playing golf.
Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas is a practicing Christian who is happily married to Mrs Theresa Ibas. The marriage is blessed with children.