…As NIGERIA Police uncovers plots to vandalize pipelines in Niger Delta***
Six Nigerians and two Togolese pirates were on Monday arrested in the Gulf of Guinea and detained by Togolese government after its forces thwarted their attempt towards hijacking a vessel at anchorage and taking her crew hostage.
The pirates, Sunday night, used a rented canoe to board the Togolese-flagged product tanker, Djetona 1 at anchorage off the port of Lome, going by reports from the IMB ICC and the Togolese government. Thereafter, they attackers hijacked the vessel and took her crew hostage.
Shortly afterwards, according to Maritime Executives, the Togolese navy swoop on them, after receiving a call from the ship’s owners, who raised the alarm that their tanker had been attacked. Consequently, the navy responded by dispatching its patrol boats to investigate and intercept the tanker, 25 nm from the anchorage area and forced it to return to Lome.
The crew were reported safe, and the suspects – two Togolese nationals and six Nigerians – were handed over to the authorities.
Actually, fewer pirate attacks occur in Togo than in nearby Nigeria, because of the Togolese often sweep interventions. Nonetheless, hijackings and kidnappings are a threat throughout the Gulf of Guinea region.
In early March, a Romanian seafarers’ union reported that three Romanian nationals were kidnapped from the vessel Histria Ivory about 20 miles from Lome. The attackers fled with their victims and the Ivory’s remaining crew brought their vessel into port at Lome
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Police on Wednesday said it had uncovered plots by some persons to commence massive and coordinated attacks on oil installations across the country.
Force Spokesman, Frank Mba, a Deputy Commissioner of Police who also warned the planners not to try it indicated this in a statement in Abuja, highlighting that the attacks were being planned to be carried out, in the Niger-Delta region and adjoining states.
He said the elements were claiming to be climate and environmental activists.
“These plots, which are politically motivated, are aimed at sabotaging oil installations with intended negative consequences on national security, economic development and global oil market,” he said.
Mba said that the acting Inspector-General of Police (I-G), Mohammed Adamu, had ordered commissioners of police nationwide, particularly in designated states, to intensify surveillance missions around oil facilities and other critical national infrastructure.
He said that the commissioners and other field commanders had also been directed to put in place proactive measures to neutralise the threats and bring the plotters to book.
“The I-G warned of dire consequences for persons or group of persons who may want to resort to the use of violence in advancing their political or economic goals,” he said.
Adamu urged citizens to remain vigilant and report all suspicious characters and plots to the law enforcement agents.
He reaffirmed his commitment to ensuring adequate security of lives, protection of national assets and the sanctity of citizens’ political freedom and democracy.