By Paul Adaji (ABUJA)
The Nigerian Navy (NN) has sustained presence of her capital ships at sea as well as directed operations bases to enhance efforts to dominate their Areas of Operations, In response to recent spike in piracy in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG).
The Director of Information, Nigerian Navy, Commodore Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan, said this in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.
Ayo-Vanghan said the spate of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG) within the last 10 years reduced to an all time low in 2022.
He said that while concerted efforts were being made to reduce piracy within the GoG to its lowest minimum, two unfortunate incidences were recorded within the region in the last three weeks.
According to him, the first incident which involved the hijack of Motor Tanker (MT) MONJASA REFORMER, occurred on March 25 at a location144 nautical mile (nm) West-South-West (WSW) of Pointe-Noire, Republic of Congo.
He said it was later discovered that the pirates abducted six crew members from the vessel.
“The second incident involved the hijack of MT SUCCESS-9 about 306 nm SW of Abidjan Fairway Buoy (FWB), Cote d’Ivoire on April 10.
“It is pertinent to state that the NN vectored Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) GONGOLA to rendezvous MT MONJASA REFORMER in company of NNS KANO and a French Warship to escort the vessel to Lome, Togo.
“The NN has equally continued to employ her surveillance infrastructure to monitor shipping activities within the nation’s maritime environment and will continue to exploit intelligence to track activities of criminals, to maintain sanctity of the Nigerian Maritime Environment (NME).
“To this end, the NN enjoins all seafarers to continue to carry out their legitimate businesses without fear,” he said.
The naval spokesman said that no incident of piracy had occurred within NME, adding that the area remained safe for maritime and economic activities.
He gave assurance that NN would continue to sustain credible presence to deter any form of criminality.
“In securing the NME and GoG in general, the NN appreciates the efforts of international partners under the Coordinated Maritime Presence arrangement as well as the support of other maritime stakeholders that play other roles in the collective security of the GoG,” he added.