*Steps up patrol surveillance on coastal States
*As kidnapped maritime workers regain freedom
(Report by Udeme Clement)
In its resolve to curb sea robbery within Nigerian waters and the Gulf of Guinea, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), is on red alert against pirates. Also, the Agency is stepping
up security patrol surveillance to cover the entire coastal States in the country.
Our Correspondent gathered that the security patrol is being carried out by
personnel of the Deep Blue Project to ensure that all waters within the coastal States in Nigeria are covered in their daily routine. This special patrol surveillance becomes imperative to curb sea robbery, as well as all forms of criminalities on waterways and the creeks.
Speaking through the Assistant Director of NIMASA’s Public Relations Unit, Mr, Osagie Edward; the Director General of the Agency, Dr Bashir Jamoh, gave assurance that the Special Maritime Intelligence Unit of Deep Blue Project will use credible intelligence and engage the youths at creeks through carrot and stick approach to thwart crimes at the marine environment.
He informed: “The Agency remains totally committed and will explore its partnership with State governments of such areas to continue sensitising the youths on the dangers of marine crimes. The Agency will also ensure that they are meaningfully engaged to contribute their quota to national development.”
Speaking further, Dr Jamoh, frowned at the abduction of eight Nigerians, five of which were members of Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), last Monday, in Rivers State.
Dr Jamoh, who
condemned the ugly incident in very strong terms, expressed great displeasure
that this is happening at a time Nigerian maritime industry is witnessing tremendous gains in maritime security and being commended for the progress made locally and globally.
The words of Dr Jamoh; “I have spoken with the President-General of MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, and expressed the Agency’s displeasure over the sad incident and unequivocal condemnation of this unpalatable development, especially when the industry is beginning to witness tremendous gains in our maritime security sphere and getting commendations for the progress made locally and internationally.
“I also assured him of the Agency’s support during this challenging period. The MWUN President, who said his team is moving to the vicinity of the incident this weekend, welcomes our show of solidarity and support, as part of the maritime family.
” NIMASA is also following the trend of events. Our Deep Blue assets, especially the C4i and intelligence centres are monitoring and we shall inform the public of the. progress. The Agency is not unmindful of sea pirates’ presence and activities of other marine criminals running away from intense heat in the nation’s territorial waters, courtesy of the enforcement of Deep Blue Project.
Such lawless persons would have started relocating to low rivers to continue their criminal activities”.
More so, the eight kidnapped victims were traveling to Port Harcourt from Kula area in Akuku-Toru LGA, when gunmen struck at Kula-Abonnema waterways and abducted them to unknown destination.
Thus, the NIMASA boss stressed that the Agency will continue working assiduously to tackle maritime insecurity in all ramifications, even as the news coming in hinted that abducted MWUN members and others have regained freedom.