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Christians and Muslims unite against Boko Haram in Cameroon

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  • As Ekweremadu loses bid to stop court over Forged Senate rules

Hundreds of Muslims gather each Friday for prayers at the central mosque in Mozogo near the border to Nigeria. In order to protect worshippers and the mosques from attack, the Muslim community has formed vigilante groups. But this means that those protecting the mosque would not be able to enter the building and pray, something that is required by their religion.

So the Muslim community has teamed up with Christian organizations to help protect each other. Joseph Klofou of the Protestant Church of Cameroon said that his church decided with members of self defense groups to guard mosques so believers do not have to miss their religious obligations.

“I feel frustrated seeing my brothers and sisters dying. I must act while praying to God to send his angels and warriors to fight Boko Haram because he is the merciful God of armies,” said Klofou.

Djafarou Alamine of the central mosques said that they also stand guard in front of churches when Christians pray.

“I am out to fight because Boko Haram is a group of bad people. Islam condemns all that they have been doing to both Christians and Muslims who are all God’s creatures even though they have religious differences,” said Alamine.

Hand in hand

Cameroon Christians and Muslims are uniting in the fight against the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram that has been attacking the central African nation in what it said were plans to create an Islamist state.

On Monday, a young suicide bomber detonated explosives at a mosque in Guetchewe, a town near Cameroon’s border with Nigeria, killing five people. This happened only five days after another suicide attack which killed 12 at a mosque in the town of Kouyape.

Cameroon’s population of over 23 million people is 40 percent Christian, 20 percent Muslim with 40 percent holding indigenous beliefs.

Midjiyawa Bakari is the governor of Cameroon’s Far North region. He has congratulated Christians and Muslims for working together against a common enemy.

“We have applauded this initiative in which Muslims stand guard over Churches and Christians stand guard over mosques. We condemn the actions of Boko Haram and ask Cameroonians to all fight them,” said Bakari. “And we extend our condolences to families that lost their loved ones.”

Boko Haram has been looting, killing, burning schools, markets and churches in Cameroon. In December 2015, the group said it was attacking Cameroon in order to create an Islamic state.

Cameroon’s minister of communication and government spokesperson, Issa Tchiroma Bakary, congratulated Christians and Muslims for jointly defending the country.

“Cameroon is a country where priests and imams both go to churches and mosques to preach and pray during ecumenical services. It is a treasure to keep,” said Bakary.

Bakary told reporters that Boko Haram has staged 315 raids in the border region since 2013 and carried out 32 suicide bombings.

“In total, 1,098 civilians, 67 of our soldiers and three police officials have been killed in these barbaric attacks by the Boko Haram terrorist group,” Bakary said.

In the meantime, Justice Adeniyi Ademola of a Fede‎ral High Court in Abuja on Wednesday snubbed the move by the Deputy Senate President, Mr. Ike Ekweremadu, to stop‎ him from delivering his reserved judgment in a suit challenging the leadership election of the 8th Senate.

Justice Ademola declared on Wednesday that he would go ahead to deliver his judgment on a date which he would later communicate to the parties through their lawyers except if the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, directed otherwise.

“The court having adopted parties’ written addresses on December 14, 2015, the court will give it’s judgment on a date that will be communicated to parties through their counsel unless the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court directs otherwise,” Justice ruled while adjourning the case on Wednesday.

‎The elections which produced Dr. Bukola Saraki as the Senate President and Ekweremadu as his deputy is being challenged by five Senators of the All Progressives Congress on the grounds that their (Saraki’s and Ekweremadu’s) elections on June 9, 2015, when the 8th Senate was proclaimed was conducted using forged version of the Senate Standing Orders.

The plaintiffs in the suit marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/651/2015, are Senators Abu Ibrahim, Kabir Marafa, Ajayi Boroffice, Olugbenga Ashafa and Suleiman Hunkuyi.

Ekweremadu is the second defendant in the suit.

The other defendants are Saraki, the National Assembly, the Clerks of the National Assembly and the Clerk of the Senate.

While Saraki is of the APC like the plaintiffs, Ekweremadu is of the Peoples Democratic Party.

MSN with additional report from Upshot

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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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