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Tinubu to Kashamu: Go and answer your Drug charges in U.S.

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….Says I cannot be Kashamu’s role model.

National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has blasted controversial businessman and PDP senator-elect, Prince Buruju Kashamu.

Tinubu said he does not need praises from Kashamu, saying they are not in the same class.Kashamu had in an advertisement praised Tinubu over the outcome of the 2015 general elections.

The APC national leader asked Kashamu, a PDP financier, to make a trip to the United States of America to answer drug charges against himself.

“Please keep your peace until you make your trip to the USA as a Senator elect. Upon your return we can then have a conversation. We can then proceed with your repudiation of the PDP with a promise that you will stop corrupting and fouling the political system,”

Tinubu said in a statement signed by his media adviser, Sunday Dare.

“Our attention has been drawn to the recently advertised letter by Mr. Buruji Kashamu to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in which he described Tinubu in superlative terms and as his role model. Kashamu needs to stop this cynical fawning. It will not work.

“The days of false adulation are gone in Nigerian politics. Fake praise singers like Kashamu will find that their particular craft is no longer in vogue. During this election cycle, their practice has dramatically turned from the way things are to how things used to be.

“Henceforth, there will be consequences for the positions a politician takes and the words they utter.

“Politcians will no longer be able to change direction and loyalties as if they were changing clothes. Those in politics must know that responsibility and accountability shall now follow them. One can no longer walk both sides of the street at the same time. In case Kashamu has not noticed, the politics of principle defeated the politics of posturing.

“That Kashamu undermined the democratic process by buying his victory does not mean he is part of the new Nigeria. He is merely an isolated vestige of a dying past. The man is an extinct species the realization of which will soon dawn on him.

“For him to liken himself to Bola Tinubu is for a small rut to call itself a mountain. For Kashamu to call Tinubu a role model is Kashamu’s admission that he does not know the meaning of the term. There are no grounds for comparison. There is only contrast. Tinubu has sacrificed years trying to bring democracy to Nigeria. He struggled in opposition to the powers that be. Without this, at times, lonesome fight and singular determination, the great change in Nigerian politics would not have happened as it did. TInubu is an architect of democracy. Kashamu is a failed demolisher of that which Tinubu has strived to build. Under Kashamu’s designs, our elections would be a wholly mercantile undertaking.

“Meanwhile, Kashamu has blown wherever the prevailing winds took him. He stood for nothing and sacrificed nothing except the people’s welfare.

“This same Kashamu rained insults on former President Obasanjo in a vicious campaign of calumny. Kashamu’s party, PDP sponsored defamatory documentaries full of lies and innuendos against me, General Muhammadu Buhari and other leaders of APC. Please keep your peace until you make your trip to the USA as a Senator-elect. Upon your return we can then have a conversation. We can then proceed with your repudiation of the PDP with a promise that you will stop corrupting and fouling the political system.

“That Kashamu would deign to compare himself with Tinubu is a distasteful insult to Tinubu and to anyone who knows Nigerian politics. If he has any sense of propriety, Kashamu should retract the corrupt missive and apologize for this latest lie to the public.

“Kashamu in a factory of incoherent mischief aimed at achieving selfish goals. Before the election, Tinubu was his archenemy. Now he seeks to be the prodigal son returned home. This scam will fail.

“Kashamu may be prodigal but he is no political son of Tinubu. Kashamu’s political lineage tracks to people like Bode George and Doyin Okupe. He should direct his encomiums to these men who are his true role models. They need his contrived affections more than Tinubu does.”

Rise above pettiness, Kashamu replies Tinubu

Reacting, Senator-elect, Buruji Kashamu said; ‘’My attention has been drawn to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s reaction to the innocuous congratulatory messages that I sent to him and other leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

‘’First, I must say that I doubt if the statement was approved by him. However, if it was, I must state that I am taken aback by the unwarranted attacks against me as if we were still campaigning. It is unbecoming of someone of his stature and calibre.

‘’It is high time politicians and leaders rose above petty issues and raise the bar in constitutional democracy. We should not just be democrats in words but also in deeds. We should play politics without bitterness.

‘’ It is on record that no Nigerian politician has taken former President Olusegun Obasanjo to the cleaners even as a sitting President like Asiwaju Tinubu did. Yet, Chief Obasanjo forgave him. As for me and Baba Obasanjo, he remains my father and leader, just as I am his son and follower. At no time did I abuse Gen. Muhammadu Buhari.

‘’As a true party man, I campaigned vigorously for my party and its candidates. Now, the elections are over, and as a true sportsman, I thought I should congratulate those who won.

‘’ Short of any praise-singing, what I said in the congratulatory message that they chose to react to a week after it was published was that there was no way anyone can wish away the achievements of Asiwaju Tinubu in the nation’s political annals, particularly in Yoruba land.

Part of the message also reads: “Although I now belong to the opposition, your achievements transcend political divides and I am not ashamed to publicly acknowledge them.

“I salute your courage, commitment, doggedness, forthrightness and tenacity of purpose even in the face of daunting opposition and challenges.

“By your sheer wit and unwavering commitment to democratic ethos, true federalism and economic prosperity, you led the Alliance for Democracy (AD) from a one-party state to a regional party, and now a national party that is about to form the government at the centre.”

He therefore asked; ‘’How do these translate to praise-singing? Are they not facts of history that I merely adumbrated?

‘’He accused me of purchasing my election with money, the appropriate forum to prove that is the election petitions tribunal and not the pages of newspaper.

‘’ On the U.S case, I wish to state for the umpteenth time that the United States as the bastion of democracy and the Rule of Law would not lend itself to any form of abuse of the fundamental human rights of an innocent soul, especially one that has been arrested, tried and freed by its most trusted ally – the United Kingdom.

‘’ I am not running from any trial. All I have asked is for the relevant parties to follow due process – if they believe that I yet have a case to answer.

‘’ I believe in the supremacy of the almighty Allah who frustrates the signs of liars and makes fools of diviners, who turns wise men back and makes their knowledge foolish. He is the ultimate decider of the fate of all mortals. When He says yes, no man can say no and when He says no, no man can say yes!

‘’I stand with the almighty Allah Subhana Wa Tala. He is the protector of all humans. He is my refuge and shield. Let no one play God!’’ he said.

Upshot Reports (additional reports from Nigeria Camera)

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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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