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B’ Haram, Fulani herdsmen kill over 3,000 under Buhari

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No fewer than 3,094 Nigerians have been killed by suspected Boko Haram insurgents and Fulani herdsmen since President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office on May 29, 2015, Saturday PUNCH investigations have revealed.

Findings by our correspondents based on related killings as reported by the media show that at least 2, 569 persons were killed by the insurgents while 525 others were killed by the nomadic cattle rearers in the period under review.

It was also learnt that thousands of persons, including women and children, sustained various degrees of injuries from the attacks.

Available figures indicated that the number of persons killed by the suspected insurgents dramatically dropped after President Buhari’s four months in office.

In the last days of May 2015, following President Buhari’s inaugural speech, the deadly sect reportedly killed 97 persons and injured several others.

In June, July, August, September and October 2015, the sect reportedly killed 368, 635, 431, 267, and 279 persons, respectively.

But starting from November 2015, the number of persons reportedly killed by the sect dipped with November 2015 recording 81 deaths; December, 136; January 2016, 104; February 2016, 90; March 2016, 26; April 2016, 43; and May 2016, 12.

In 2015, Nigeria ranked third in the 2015 Global Terrorism Index, trailing Iraq and Afghanistan.

According to the index, on June 4, 2015, a female suicide bomber in Maiduguri killed two people near a military checkpoint. On the same day, 45 people were also killed in a Yola market, Adamawa State when a blast ripped through the place.

On July 1, 2015, suicide bombers attacked a hospital in Kukawa, Borno State when Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo visited the state, killing 118 people.

Also on July 17, 2015, 50 persons were killed when suicide bombers attacked a Muslim prayer ground in Damaturu, Yobe State.

One of the worst Boko Haram attacks in the last one year include an attack on Dalori village, some four kilometres from Maiduguri, Borno State on January 30, 2015, where at least 86 people were reportedly killed after an invasion by the insurgents.

On February 9, 2016, 60 people were reportedly killed while 78 others were wounded when two female suicide bombers suspected to be Boko Haram members, sneaked into a camp for internally displaced persons in Dikwa, Borno State.

However, the situation did not apply to the casualty figures associated with Fulani herdsmen attacks.

June 2015 recorded 97 deaths arising from suspected Fulani herdsmen attacks; September recorded three; October, 18; November, 22; December, 28; February 2016, 300; April 2016, 55; and May 2016, two.

Last December, no fewer than 22 persons were reportedly killed when suspected Fulani herdsmen attacked Kwata in Jos South Local government area of Plateau State.

In February 2016, suspected Fulani herdsmen attacked a village in Agatu, Benue State, reportedly killing at least 300 persons. The attack has been described as one of the worst ever witnessed in the series of attacks by Fulani herdsmen.

In April, 2016, at least 40 persons were also reportedly killed when suspected herdsmen attacked Nimbo in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State.

About seven villages in Nimbo including Ugwuijoro, Ekwuru, Ebor, Umuome and Ugwuachara were among the areas attacked.

No fewer than 10 houses including a church were also said to have been burnt in the attack.

In the same month, suspected Fulani herdsmen also attacked Dori and Mesuma villages in Gashaka Local Government Area of Taraba State, killing at least 15 people, according to the police. Although, residents said more than 40 persons were killed and several houses razed by the assailants.

One of the most recent attacks by suspected Fulani herdsmen occurred on Friday, May 20, 2016, when two persons were killed and six others injured following an attack on Oke Ako in Ikole Local Government Area of Ekiti State.

It was alleged that the assailants had attacked their victims for refusing to allow the herdsmen use their farmland for grazing their cattle.

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WAIVER CESSATION: Igbokwe urges NIMASA to evolve stronger collaboration with Ships owners

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…Stresses the need for timely disbursement of N44.6billion CVFF***

Highly revered Nigerian Maritime Lawyer, and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mike Igbokwe has urged the Nigeria Maritime Administration and safety Agency (NIMASA) to partner with ship owners and relevant association in the industry to evolving a more vibrant merchant shipping and cabotage trade regime.

Igbokwe gave the counsel during his paper presentation at the just concluded two-day stakeholders’ meeting on Cabotage waiver restrictions, organized by NIMASA.

“NIMASA and shipowners should develop merchant shipping including cabotage trade. A good start is to partner with the relevant associations in this field, such as the Nigeria Indigenous Shipowners Association (NISA), Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Oil Trade Group & Maritime Trade Group of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).

“A cursory look at their vision, mission and objectives, show that they are willing to improve the maritime sector, not just for their members but for stakeholders in the maritime economy and the country”.

Adding that it is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a through briefing and regular consultation with ships owners, in other to have insight on the challenges facing the ship owners.

“It is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a thorough briefing and regular consultations with shipowners, to receive insight on the challenges they face, and how the Agency can assist in solving them and encouraging them to invest and participate in the maritime sector, for its development. 

“NIMASA should see them as partners in progress because, if they do not invest in buying ships and registering them in Nigeria, there would be no Nigerian-owned ships in its Register and NIMASA would be unable to discharge its main objective.

The Maritime lawyer also urged NIMASA  to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF)that currently stands at about N44.6 billion.

“Lest it be forgotten, what is on the lips of almost every shipowner, is the need to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (the CVFF’), which was established by the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act, 2003. It was established to promote the development of indigenous ship acquisition capacity, by providing financial assistance to Nigerian citizens and shipping companies wholly owned by Nigerian operating in the domestic coastal shipping, to purchase and maintain vessels and build shipping capacity. 

“Research shows that this fund has grown to about N44.6billion; and that due to its non-disbursement, financial institutions have repossessed some vessels, resulting in a 43% reduction of the number of operational indigenous shipping companies in Nigeria, in the past few years. 

“Without beating around the bush, to promote indigenous maritime development, prompt action must be taken by NIMASA to commence the disbursement of this Fund to qualified shipowners pursuant to the extant Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (“CVFF”) Regulations.

Mike Igbokwe (SAN)

“Indeed, as part of its statutory functions, NIMASA is to enforce and administer the provisions of the Cabotage Act 2003 and develop and implement policies and programmes which will facilitate the growth of local capacity in ownership, manning and construction of ships and other maritime infrastructure. Disbursing the CVFF is one of the ways NIMASA can fulfill this mandate.

“To assist in this task, there must be collaboration between NIMASA, financial institutions, the Minister of Transportation, as contained in the CVFF Regulations that are yet to be implemented”, the legal guru highlighted further. 

He urged the agency to create the right environment for its stakeholders to build on and engender the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders.

“Lastly, which is the main reason why we are all here, cessation of ministerial waivers on some cabotage requirements, which I believe is worth applause in favour of NIMASA. 

“This is because it appears that the readiness to obtain/grant waivers had made some of the vessels and their owners engaged in cabotage trade, to become complacent and indifferent in quickly ensuring that they updated their capacities, so as not to require the waivers. 

“The cessation of waivers is a way of forcing the relevant stakeholders of the maritime sector, to find workable solutions within, for maritime development and fill the gaps in the local capacities in 100% Nigerian crewing, ship ownership, and ship building, that had necessitated the existence of the waivers since about 15 years ago, when the Cabotage Act came into being. 

“However, NIMASA must ensure that the right environment is provided for its stakeholders to build and possess the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders. Or better still, that they are solved within the next 5 years of its intention to stop granting waivers”, he further explained. 

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Breaking News: The Funeral Rites of Matriarch C. Ogbeifun is Live

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The Burial Ceremony of Engr. Greg Ogbeifun’s mother is live. Watch on the website: www.maritimefirstnewspaper.com and on Youtube: Maritimefirst Newspaper.

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Wind Farm Vessel Collision Leaves 15 Injured

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…As Valles Steamship Orders 112,000 dwt Tanker from South Korea***

A wind farm supply vessel and a cargo ship collided in the Baltic Sea on Tuesday leaving 15 injured.

The Cyprus-flagged 80-meter general cargo ship Raba collided with Denmark-flagged 31-meter wind farm supply vessel World Bora near Rügen Island, about three nautical miles off the coast of Hamburg. 

Many of those injured were service engineers on the wind farm vessel, and 10 were seriously hurt. 

They were headed to Iberdrola’s 350MW Wikinger wind farm. Nine of the people on board the World Bora were employees of Siemens Gamesa, two were employees of Iberdrola and four were crew.

The cause of the incident is not yet known, and no pollution has been reported.

After the collision, the two ships were able to proceed to Rügen under their own power, and the injured were then taken to hospital. 

Lifeboat crews from the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service tended to them prior to their transport to hospital via ambulance and helicopter.

“Iberdrola wishes to thank the rescue services for their diligence and professionalism,” the company said in a statement.

In the meantime, the Hong Kong-based shipowner Valles Steamship has ordered a new 112,000 dwt crude oil tanker from South Korea’s Sumitomo Heavy Industries Marine & Engineering.

Sumitomo is to deliver the Aframax to Valles Steamship by the end of 2020, according to data provided by Asiasis.

The newbuild Aframax will join seven other Aframaxes in Valles Steamship’s fleet. Other ships operated by the company include Panamax bulkers and medium and long range product tankers.

The company’s most-recently delivered unit is the 114,426 dwt Aframax tanker Seagalaxy. The naming and delivery of the tanker took place in February 2019, at Namura Shipbuilding’s yard in Japan.

Maritime Executive with additional report from World Maritime News

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