by Christiana Gokyo, Jos
The Nigerian Navy (NN) has said that it has sustained presence of her Capital Ships at Sea as well as directed operations bases to enhance efforts to dominate their Areas of Operations. The Navy said this, while reacting to the recent spike in the Gulf of Guinea (GOG).
A statement to this effect was signed and issued to newsmen in Abuja by Commodore AO Ayo-Vaughan, Director of Information of the Nigerian Navy, saying, “Nigerian Navy will continue to exploit intelligence to track activities of criminals, in order to maintain sanctity of the Nigerian Maritime Environment (NME).
According to him, the Nigerian Navy has continued to employ her surveillance infrastructure to monitor shipping activities within the Nation’s Maritime Environment.
The Director of Information noted that, the spate of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea (GOG) within the last 10 years has reduced to an all time low, in 2022, while concerted efforts are being made to reduce piracy within the GOG to its lowest minimum. Nevertheless, two (2) unfortunate incidences were recorded within the GOG in the last 3 weeks.
He said the first incident, which involved the hijack of Motor Tanker (MT) Monjasa Reformer occurred on 25th March 2023 at a location 144 nautical miles (nm) West-South-West (WSW) of Pointe-Noire, Republic of Congo.
He explained that, it was later discovered that pirates abducted 6 crew members from the vessel, while the second incident involved the hijack of MT Success-9 about 306 nm SW of Abidjan Fairway Buoy (FWB), Cote D’Ivoire on 10th April 2023.
“It is pertinent to state that the Nigerian Navy 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 and Togo,” he stated.
Furthermore, he said, “To this end, the NN enjoins all seafarers to continue to carry out their legitimate businesses without fear,” while noting that “No incident of piracy has occurred within NME, and the area is safe for maritime and economic activities. The NN would continue to sustain credible presence to deter any form of criminality in securing the NME and GOG in general.”