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Gulf of Guinea Records Lowest Piracy Incidents in 28 Years

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Nigerian waters Gulf of Guinea

By Adedapo Adesanya

The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has disclosed that the Gulf of Guinea, once a notorious hub for sea piracy, has recorded the lowest number of reported incidents for the first half of the year since 1994.

The bureau disclosed this in its half-year report of 2022 which coincided with the reduction in piracy around the globe, which it notes is evidence of its efforts in raising awareness to make the waters safe globally.

In a statement signed by Mr Edward Osagie, Assistant Director, Public Relations, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), the IMB also expressed optimism that it was a new dawn for the shipping community globally.

The Gulf of Guinea Declaration (GoG) on Suppression of Piracy has confirmed that there has not been any case of Seafarers kidnap one year after the May 2021 declaration.

This is considered commendable progress in comparison to the 2020 statistics when 130 seafarers were kidnapped.

In the report, IMB Director, Mr Michael Howlett, also confirmed that no case of vessel hijack took place on Nigerian waters in the first half of 2022.

“The ICC and International Maritime Bureau (IMB) have confirmed that the first half of 2022 witnessed the least cases of piracy globally in 28 years with only 58 reported cases as compared to 68 within the same period in 2021.

“Of the 58 incidents, two were classified as piracy attacks in the Gulf of Guinea, with none of them occurring in Nigerian waters. While the reduction in reported incidents is indeed encouraging, the IMB PRC continues to caution against complacency,” he said.

Mr Howlett said that not only was this good news for the seafarers and the shipping industry, it was positive news for trade which promotes economic growth but the areas of risk shift and the shipping community must remain vigilant.

“We encourage governments and responding authorities to continue their patrols which create a deterrent effect,” he said.

The status report from the GoG declaration also confirmed that there had not been any case of kidnap for ransom in 2022, as against 20 cases in 2020 and 12 in 2021.

Responding to the report, the Director-General of NIMASA, Mr Bashir Jamoh, said that Nigeria was committed to sustaining the momentum of the success recorded in recent times in the fight against piracy in the region.

“It is heart-warming that the international maritime community is acknowledging the progress made so far. It is a direct result of collaboration amongst national, regional and non-regional stakeholders.

“It is our hope that this trend will be sustained and very soon, we will start reaping the benefits such as a change of status concerning the Insurance premium paid on Nigerian bound cargoes; the War Riskpremium being paid at the moment.

“We hope this status will change very soon,” he said.

Mr Jamoh said that the Baltic and International Maritime Council, (BIMCO), the world’s largest direct-membership organisation for ship-owners, charterers, shipbrokers, and agents called for the effective and full deployment of Deep Blue Assets on Anti-piracy tasking.

“Key to the successes in the war against piracy are efforts of the Nigerian Navy in clamping down on pirates camps, the Deep Blue project C4i coastal surveillance and collaboration with international Navies for law enforcement off Nigerian waters.

“Others are the series of meetings under the umbrella of the Gulf of Guinea maritime coordination Forum, Shared Awareness and DEconfliction, GoG/SHADE,” Mr Jamoh quoted BIMCO as saying.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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Olatubosun Suggests Home-grown Method of Teaching Yoruba Culture

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Yoruba culture

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism in Oyo State, Mr Wasiu Olatubosun, has suggested that the Yoruba culture can be taught effectively through a home-grown teaching method.

At the 2022 Ijala Are-Ode Cultural Festival in Ibadan, the Commissioner emphasised that for the Yoruba race to conquer the world, its people must appreciate who they are, learn the things of the race, and behave truly like omoluabis.

He informed participants of the programme with the theme Ijala: Beyond Social Gyration to Intellectual Exposition of Yoruba Cultural Heritage that the state government, under Governor Seyi Makinde, has shown commitment to resuscitating the Yoruba culture and tradition among the younger generation through a re-introduction of history classes to public schools in the state.

Mr Olatubosun, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr Oye Oyedele, assured that the state government would continue to promote the growth of the language and the culture of Yoruba.

In his contribution, a veteran actor and Araba Awo of Osogbo, Mr Yemi Elebuibon, urged Africans to develop their culture, observing that it is a must to “first appreciate who they are and what they are.”

He also warned the Yorubas against jettisoning Ifa science and technology, adding that if care is not taken, in no distant future, people of the Yoruba tribe will soon be paying the Europeans for Ifa divination.

During his lecture, a scholar, Prof. Akinkunmi Adegbola Alao, said there was a need to go back to the basics, look beyond the social gyrations derived from Ijala by hunters, and find ways to deploy the intellectual foundation of Ijala in Yoruba cultural heritage, urging historians to research Yoruba cultural values that can benefit the society constantly.

He noted that although the immediate purpose of any traditional music performance is to entertain, the genre of music could influence a renaissance of Yoruba Culture and traditions, appealing to Africans, especially the Yorubas, to embrace and leverage indigenous technology to develop human society.

“We need to go back to the basics. Go beyond just the gyrations of individuals, amusing themselves, to unearth the intellectual premise of this rich cultural tradition,” he said.

Speaking on what led to the celebration of Ijala by hunters in those days, Mr Alao noted that the neglect by the political class gave room for chanting Ijala by the hunters to celebrate their contributions to society.

He applauded the efforts of hunters in maintaining peace within the boundaries of their society, admonishing the political class to stop forthwith diminishing their importance.

“The nature of their profession takes them away from domestic politics. They are always engaged in warfare and deep forest hunting, and so many other activities outside the immediate precinct of the established kingdoms. So many times, they are not on the ground to take part in the political process, so the political class diminished their importance,” he observed.

“But they resorted to Ijala to celebrate themselves, to call attention to their importance and to let people know they have contributed a lot to the development of the society,” he continued.

The culture enthusiast commended the Oyo State Government for partnering Ona-ara Development Forum in celebrating the Ijala are-ode cultural renaissance.

“Rather than denouncing our hunters, we must encourage them to use their knowledge towards the development of human society positively,” he noted, stating that the festival will open doors of opportunities to hunters, showcasing talents and the importance of the hunters’ guild.

Speaking earlier, the Chairman Organising Committee, Ijala Are-Ode Cultural Festival, Mr Dipo Gbenro, noted that the Ona Ara Development Forum seeks the development of Ona-Ara.

He also revealed that the forefathers of all Ona-Ara indigenes were hunters and warriors who played pivotal roles in the Agbekoya war, stating that Ijala is expository of intellectual content, spells history, and family lineage.

“Ijala explores and exposes the inadequacies of our leaders, promotes social relations and is rich with powerful words,” he said.

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NDLEA Welcomes Training Support from French Police

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NDLEA drug syndicate

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Mr Mohamed Buba Marwa, has commended the support from the Police Nationale (RAID) of France, especially in the areas of training and equipment.

The NDLEA boss said this in Abuja on Friday when the Police Attaché at the French Embassy in Nigeria, Mr Emmanuel Verin, led a team of French VIP trainers including Mr Cedric B. and Mr Christophe J. who were in the country to train a number of NDLEA officers in special operations, paid him a courtesy visit.

Speaking at the event, Mr Marwa said, “I would like to appreciate the French government for its support as one of our leading partners. We have received tremendous help from France not only in terms of training but also equipment.

“The support was capped with my recent visit to France, where we received a warm reception at all the institutions visited, and the training promised was promptly organized. We’re grateful for that, and we are looking forward to more collaboration and support.”

In his response, Mr Verin said, “we’re proud to work with NDLEA because your officers and men are very smart and professional, and that’s why you’re getting results; hence, our priority in terms of support for NDLEA is in the area of training.

“Our trainers who have been here to train your men are specialists and top in the field. We’ll do this for a very long time, and we’re glad to work with you.”

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Paris Club Refund: Governors Move to Legally Block $418m Payment

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Paris Club refund

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has said that it will explore all legal options on the disbursement of the $418 million Paris Club refund and promissory notes to ensure resources meant for state governments are not illegally paid to consultants.

The forum disclosed this in a statement issued by its Chairman, Governor Aminu Tambuwal, after the teleconference meeting of the 36 state governors.

“Regarding the $418 million Paris Club Refund and promissory notes issued to consultants by the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Debt Management Office (DMO), the forum remains resolute in exploring all legal channels available to it in ensuring that resources belonging to states are not unjustly or illegally paid to a few in the guise of consultancy,” it said.

The Sokoto state governor said the group had also instructed its lawyers to approach the Federal High Court on the proposed privatisation of 10 National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs) by the federal government.

“The forum, following its advocacy that the proposed privatisation of 10 NIPPs by the Federal Government should be stopped, instructed its lawyers to approach the Federal High Court, which at present has issued a court order restraining all the parties in the suit from taking any step or action that will make or render the outcome of the motion on notice seeking for interlocutory injunction nugatory.

“The effect of the order of the court is that respondents cannot proceed with the proposed sale of the power plants belonging to the Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited (NDPHCL) until the hearing and determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction,” he said.

Mr Tambuwal added that sequel to discussions between sub-sovereigns at the recently concluded 2nd African Sub-Sovereign Government Network (AfSNET) Conference, the forum agreed to pursue support for enhanced dialogue, cooperation and collaboration between sub-sovereign governments around intra-African trade, investment, industrialisation, and development.

He said that such would be done through membership in the Forum of Regions of Africa (FORAF) and its partnership with the African Export-Import (AFREXIM) Bank.

The governor said that the forum was also monitoring the flood situation across the country and working with the Federal Government to prepare emergency interventions to ameliorate the impact of the floods on food security.

Mr Tambuwal said that the forum was working with the Federal Government through the National Economic Council (NEC) and in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD).

Others, according to him, include the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development (FMHDSD), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning (FMFBNP) and the World Bank.

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