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How support for Buhari, Jonathan divides Yoruba



The Yoruba race commands much respect in the political setting, and her support for a cause or political ambition is always sought to influence opinion of other race and other well meaning individuals, and in taking such decision, the Yoruba relies on their leaders to lead them because they have much confidence in their wealth of experience, and believe in them that they will not lead them to the wrong path.

The current political dispensation has however further polarised the race, and set their leaders against one another, making them going their different ways, and pitching their tents for candidates of their choice without agreeing on what the race stand to benefit for supporting such a candidate.

The leaders have criticised themselves even publicly, accusing one another, and even went to the extent of name calling, that serves as a punishment for failing to toe the line of others.

When Afenifere endorsed President Goodluck Jonathan, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, the other group of Yoruba leaders embarked on campaign of calumny to rubbish the revered Yoruba elders and dent their reputation which took them decades to build. They were condemned that they do not speak for the Yoruba race nor represent their interest.

The other Yoruba group that is supporting the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari said, he, Buhari is a better candidate, saying he will help fight corruption and reposition the country, but they fail to tell the public what the Yoruba stand to gain for supporting him, because making a Yoruba man, Professor Yemi Osinbajo his running mate is not enough to convince the race that their interest has been taken care of.

In order to drive home their argument for supporting the candidates, the two Yoruba groups decided to hold a meeting the same day, March 19, 2015, at different venues, one in Lagos another in Ibadan to buttress reasons for the support they render.

In the meeting held in Lagos and attended by chieftains of Afenifere and some prominent Yoruba figures, they urged Nigerians, particularly the Yoruba race to vote en mass for Jonathan.

Afenifere noted that its decision to support Jonathan was taken out of genuine interest, and desire for a better Nigeria, and not on parochial interest as its traducers are insinuating, they (leaders of the group) argued that they support Jonathan because of the initiative he has taken to reposition Nigeria, and set it on a right track for development, which was part of the struggle they had been involved in, right from the time Nigeria attained independence and even before then.

Shedding more light on why Afenifere endorsed Jonathan for a second term in office, one of its leader Chief Ayo Adebanjo said one reason Afenifere is supporting second term bid of President Goodluck Jonathan is that he is championing a cause that the organisation believes in and that it is in the interest of Yoruba.

Adebanjo noted that at his age 87, he needs not to be much involved in activism, but he is involved because he owe it a duty to Nigeria and generations unborn to bequeath a better society, where everything works as expected, and he will always support any cause that protect the interest of Yoruba race.

He said that the decision of President Jonathan to set up a confab to address the interest and agitations of Nigerians was an initiative the Yoruba believe in, and wherever the interest of the race is taking care of he will belong, because the interest of the race is at stake and ought not to be taken for granted.

Chief Adebanjo noted that, the decision of President Jonathan to set up national confab was in the interest of the Yoruba, and the confab provided avenue to address issues agitating the minds of Nigerians, without any encumbrance, or interference from the Presidency.

According to him, the step the President took was in line with the position of the pioneer leader of Afenifere, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who had all along agitated for the restructuring of the country, in favour of every ethnic nationalities that makes up the country.

“Confab was set up in the best interest of the Yoruba race, and it addresses the agitation of the South West region, and that was why Afenifere is supporting second term bid of Jonathan. I support Goodluck Jonathan because he supports the cause of the Yoruba, and if we are talking of any change now, it is the change of the constitution.”

According to him, it is only a Southerner that has the courage and the will to call for setting up of a confab, adding that a Northerner do not have such courage, because the geo political zone is a beneficiary of the flaws in the Nigeria Constitution as it is presently constituted.

Chief Adebanjo explained further that he is not a supporter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), but he is only interested in Jonathan’s re-election, because he is   on the same page with him when it comes to the issue of restructuring Nigeria.

Chief Adebanjo urged Nigerians to vote en mass for President Jonathan, so that he can have the opportunity to implement the lofty resolutions arrived at by the national confab. He urged Nigerians not to support the opposition party APC candidate General Buhari because, he does not mean well for the country, and that he is deceptive.

He noted that, it is absurd for Buhari to say the money expended on the confab was a waste, noting that his statement exposed him that he does not believe in restructuring of the country, and wondered why Nigerians should vote for such a leader, who never saw the need to restructure the country and put it on better stead.

Lending his support for the position of Afenifere, its former spokesperson and Minister for Works (State), Prince Dayo Adeyeye said Yoruba support resolutions arrived at, at the national conference, because it addresses the salient issue the race have been agitating for during the time of Chief Obafemi Awolowo.

Giving reasons why President Jonathan should be re-elected, Secretary of the Yoruba caucus at the National Conference, Dr Kunle Olajide while expressing appreciation to President Jonathan for convoking the National Conference, stated that all what the Yoruba took to the confab sailed through.

He listed some of the Yoruba agenda to include creation of additional states, multi- level policing and a situation where states would have their constitution to operate with.

Present at the meeting were, former Ogun State governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, National Chairman of Alliance for Democracy (AD), Senator Mojisoluwa Akinfenwa; leader of Afenifere, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, Senator Femi Okurounmu, publicity secretary of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, founder Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), Dr. Frederick Fasheun, OPC National Coordinator, Otunba Gani Adams, among others.

At the Ibadan meeting which was convened by a chieftain of the defunct National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), General Alani Akinrinade (rtd), and which was also attended by Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, his deputy, Chief Moses Adeyemo, Osun State governor, Rauf Aregbesola, Senator Ayo Fasanmi, leader of Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG), Wale Oshun, Senator Anthony Adefuye

Also present at the meeting were former Ekiti State governors Dr. Kayode Fayemi and Otunba Niyi Adebayo, former Osun State governor Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, former Military governor of the Mid-West State, Samuel Ogbemudia, former Deputy Governor of Ekiti, Modupe Adelabu, Professor Albert Olawale, former Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Professor Wale Omole, and his Ekiti State University counterpart, Professor Akin Oyebode, Professor John Ayoade, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye, Senator Bayo Salami, Senator James Kolawole, among others.

The meeting resolved to encourage Nigerians to vote for the APC presidential candidate General Buhari, arguing that President Jonathan has never improved on the lots of the Yoruba race since he came to power, but rather he succeeded in marginalising the race.

According to Oyo State governor, “We have been subject of brazen marginalization and deliberate attempt to whittle down our historical contributions to the development of Nigeria. It will interest you to note that in the wheel of power at the centre, there are only two Yoruba people. Indeed, out of the 50 most powerful men and women in the executive, legislative, judicial and even security components of power in Nigeria, there are only two Yoruba people. These are the Chief of Staff to the President, whose choice was almost an afterthought and the Accountant General of the Federation,” he said.

According to a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting, the Yoruba leaders stated thus, “the main grievances of the region include: marginalization which has attained the status of deliberate policy of the central government of Nigeria, calculated attempts to invade and subjugate Yoruba land through covert, disguised and even official policies of the central government, misguiding some elements in the region for their selfish reasons, decimation of entrepreneurial ambitions of Yoruba people through federal institutions and agencies that are supposed to be enablers and facilitators of economic development, near virtual absence of reliable and critical infrastructure of electricity, energy, and transportation which has led to the collapse of economic activities in Yoruba land.

The Yoruba leaders therefore demanded for regionalism, diversification of economy, holding free, fair, credible and transparent elections as scheduled to commence on Saturday, March 28, 2015, resistance to any form of unelected government, be it Government of National Unity, Interim National Government or howsoever described, repealing of laws and policies that stifle the creativity of the people, among others.

Newswatch Times


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



…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



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

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Wind Farm Vessel Collision Leaves 15 Injured



…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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