JTF kills 4 Pirates in Rivers

  • Destroys kidnappers den in Bayelsa
  • As Dakuku Tells Norway: ‘Africa’s Set To Take Fate In Own Hand

The Joint Task Force (JTF) deployed to the Niger Delta may have killed four suspected sea robbers, and also destroyed a hideout used by kidnappers in Bayelsa.

The JTF Spokesman, Maj. Abubakar Abdullahi who confirmed this in Yenagoa on Thursday stated that the JTF, christened Operation Delta Safe, had engaged the pirates in gun duel, felling four, and recovering two AK-47 rifles during two operations.

“Troops of Operation DELTA SAFE on Tuesday ambushed a gang of sea robbers along KM-45 AWOBA Waterways in Rivers State. During the ambush operation, four robbers met their waterloo.

“Items recovered include 2× AK-47 rifles, quantity 3× AK-47 magazines, quantity 22 ammunitions and one speed boat mounted with one 200 Horse-Power engine.

“In another development, troops patrol along Bayelsa waterways acting on information, raided a sea pirates hideout along FORUPA-LOBIA waterways.

“However, the sea pirates on sighting the troop’s advance fled the hideout, and left behind 3× fiber boats and one 75 Horse-Power engine.

“The hideout was subsequently destroyed instantly while the troops continue with their patrols,” he said.

The spokesman said that the Commander Operation DELTA SAFE, Rear Admiral Apochi Suleiman, commended law abiding citizens for their support by providing timely and useful information to troops. He also appealed for more cooperation from inhabitants of Joint Operation Area.

He assured the communities, oil companies and other stakeholders of OPDS resolve to protect oil and gas infrastructure, stressing that the military would stop at nothing to prevent and deter crude oil theft, sea robbery, pipeline vandalism and other form of criminalities in the region that could impact negatively on the economy of the nation.

In the meantime, the Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside has told the international community that the country may soon begin to change some of the terms of engagement , insisting on fairer treatment, because Africa is finally ready, to engage the rest of the world, on equal terms, in the area of maritime businesses.

Dakuku made this known at the Nor-Shipping 2017, an international event which began at Lillstrome, Norway on May 29, and is ending today, June 2, 2017.

Specifically, Dakuku said it was time Africa stopped others from engaging Africans on their own terms, whether they were bringing vessels into the continent or just taking our cargoes; stressing on the need for a mutually beneficial relationship, where Africans can give and also receive.

“What we are trying to do is to change the terms of engagement for the rest of the world in terms of maritime businesses. We want to operate on equal terms not lopsided terms against our own interest, thereby creating room for a mutually beneficial relationship,” the DG indicated, noting that Nigeria’s participation at Nor-Shipping is to tell the world that Nigeria has a lot to offer.

“There are lots of opportunities in the maritime administration of Nigeria; we are diversifying our economy, we are the biggest economy in Africa with a vast population, vast coastline of over 800 kilometers, endowed with many natural resources and a good Gross Domestic Product (GDP) amongst others. So if you have to do business in Africa, you must talk about Nigeria”, he said.

Meanwhile, the NIMASA DG who was recently appointed the Chairman of the Association of African Maritime Administrations has observed that part of the initiative to grow the African maritime industry is to rapidly build capacity amongst nations within the continent.

“If you look at the number of seafarers we have globally, it appears things are lopsided against Africa and the challenge appears to be sea time training, so we are talking about sea time and building capacity,” he said.

He also noted that there were no African fleets; hence the need for nations to develop their own fleets has become inevitable while the terms of trade is being looked into.

In his words, “what is going on is that many other countries of the world just come to Africa to take our cargoes and off they go; please, how can we all operate on the same footage? Africa has something to give hence, they are coming to us, therefore they must engage us on equally beneficial terms”, he posited, saying

that the African continent is working together to see how to benefit from one another’s experiences, which will help in the running of the affairs of their maritime administrations.

Other areas are, enhancing the continent’s fleets, human capacity development, peer review in terms of maritime administration, ports state control, coastal control and infrastructural growth, all geared towards a virile maritime administration in Africa.

Nor-Shipping is a bi-annual event that brings together Stakeholders in the maritime sector from various continents aimed at improving the global maritime sector. The event also features exhibitions amongst others. The main theme for this year’s event is “Catalyst for Change”.