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Godogodo death toll hits 40, as mob hacks 14 herdsmen dead

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  • Russia sets brief cease-fire for Aleppo as strikes kill 36

The death toll from the invasion of Godogodo in Jema’a Local Government Area of Kaduna State, between last Saturday and Sunday, has risen from 20 to 40, according to sources from Southern Kaduna Peoples Unions, SOKAPU, the umbrella body of the 67 tribal groupings of Southern Kaduna.

However, Kaduna State Police spokesman, ASP Usman Aliyu, told Vanguard that he had not been informed of any figure higher than the Sunday figure of 20, but agreed that the casualty figure could be higher.

Meanwhile, a mob attack on herdsmen in Kaduna left no fewer than 14 persons “hacked and burnt” to death.

A commercial bus driver, Adamu Aliyu, told newsmen yesterday: “I was returning from Plateau State with eight passengers, all of them Fulani herders. My bus broke down in Kaduna State, so I left it to go search for a mechanic. “While I was away, a mob surrounded the vehicle and forcibly brought out the eight passengers. They hacked them to death, dumped them in the vehicle and set it ablaze.

“Another vehicle was also attacked, when it stopped to refuel and all the six people were burnt to death along with the car.”

Aliyu said a riot broke out in the streets, with soldiers and policemen finally intervening to contain the carnage. Casualties figure On the casualty figures, following the invasion of Godogodo, a youth leader, who did not want his name mentioned, said: “On Sunday, we were able to get 20 corpses.

“But after the attackers were chased out this morning (yesterday), we went into the town and recovered badly burnt corpses. “We retrieved corpses that were so badly burnt that you would not know if they were males or females. We now have about 40 dead persons. There could be more, because we are still searching.”

A statement by SOKAPU, through its leader, Dr. Musa Solomon, in Abuja, yesterday, read in part: “The entire people of Southern Kaduna have been totally neglected by the authorities at the Federal and state levels and left to be destroyed by enemies.” It called on the Federal Government and Kaduna State government to set up permanent security formations in the area to curtail “the senseless killings.”

In the meantime, Russian and Syrian forces will halt hostilities for eight hours in the eastern districts of Aleppo, Russia’s military announced on Monday, a day on which opposition activists said their airstrikes killed at least 36 people, including several children, in and around the divided city.

The two militaries will observe a “humanitarian pause” between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Oct. 20 to allow civilians and militants safe passage out of the city, Lt. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi of Russia’s general staff said in Moscow. Militants, the wounded and sick would be allowed to evacuate to the neighboring rebel-held province of Idlib.

U.N. humanitarian officials have pleaded with combatants to observe weekly 48-hour cease-fires to allow humanitarian relief into the city’s besieged eastern districts, but Russian and Syrian forces have only escalated their aerial and ground assault on the rebel-held areas in recent weeks. The airstrikes have claimed hundreds of lives, wounded many, flattened apartment buildings and laid waste to the already crippled medical sector.

Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters at U.N. headquarters in New York that the eight-hour pause was a unilateral halt to fighting. A 48-hour or 72-hour cease-fire “will require some sort of mutual arrangement,” he said.

Russian and Syrian leaders are now capitalizing on a proposal made by the U.N.’s envoy earlier this month to allow al-Qaida-linked militants to leave in exchange for peace and local administration for the eastern districts.

Rebels in the east, along with many residents, spurned the proposition, citing their distrust of the government side. And Russia vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution mandating an immediate cease-fire.

Russia’s Churkin said that at a meeting Saturday co-chaired by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, foreign ministers from Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar said they would work to separate moderate opposition groups from the former al-Qaida affiliate once known as the Nusra Front in rebel-held eastern Aleppo.

Military experts from all these countries were scheduled to meet Monday, he said.

If the separation succeeds — which is a key Russian and Syrian demand — there are two options, Churkin said. Nusra fighters must leave Aleppo or they will be defeated, he said.

Churkin said “the understanding” reached at Saturday’s meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, is that once Nusra is gone the moderate opposition and the Syrian government will agree on a cease-fire to end the bloodshed.

U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner, speaking to reporters in Washington, noted that the people of Aleppo “have been subjected to near constant bombardment and air strikes” that have killed many civilians and leveled much of the city’s infrastructure in an effort “to starve out and to drive out the opposition and civilians.”

“If there is actually an eight-hour pause in the unremitting suffering of the people of Aleppo, that would be a good thing. But frankly, it’s a bit too little, too late,” Toner said.

Monday’s Russian announcement did not include any promises of an extended cease-fire or local administration. It followed a bloody day of airstrikes on rebel-held districts in and around Aleppo.

At least 23 people were killed in airstrike that also wounded dozens in the village of Oweijel, just west of Aleppo, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Another monitoring group, the Local Coordination Committees, said the air raid was carried out by Russian warplanes and put the death toll at 30.

More than a dozen people were also killed in the Marjeh neighborhood in eastern Aleppo. The Aleppo Media Center, an activist collective, said those killed included 11 people with the same family name of Qabs ranging from a six-week-old baby girl to a 25-year-old man.

The Observatory said at least 50 civilians, including 18 children, were killed in airstrikes on the eastern part of the city in the 24 hours before the Russian announcement.

Monday’s airstrikes coincided with the launch in neighboring Iraq of a major operation by Iraqi and Kurdish forces, backed by the U.S.-led coalition, to retake the northern city of Mosul from the Islamic State group. There have been concerns the government in Damascus could use the timing of the Mosul offensive to press its onslaught in Aleppo while world attention is diverted to developments in Iraq.

Also Monday, Syrian state media claimed 49 rebels were killed and wounded in fighting in the neighborhoods of Sheikh Saeed and Shurfa on the southern edges of Aleppo.

In the nearby province of Idlib, a U.S.-led coalition drone struck a car in the provincial capital that carries the same name, killing all inside, according to the Observatory and a jihadi official. It was not immediately clear who was in the vehicle, but such attacks have previously targeted officials with al-Qaida’s affiliate in Syria, known as Fatah al-Sham Front.

The Observatory said the attack targeted a faction commander. An official with Fatah al-Sham Front, formerly known as Nusra Front, said all those in the car were “martyred.” The man, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said it was not clear if members of his group were targeted.

Vanguard with additional report from MSN

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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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