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Transport workers fault continued attacks at Gulf of Guinea

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[FILES] Gulf of Guinea (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has blamed the Federal Government’s refusal to engage critical stakeholders in tackling the insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea for the continued sea robbery and piracy in the region.

The ITF described the Gulf of Guinea as a “bay of blood” following last week’s primate attack where a seafarer was killed and another 15 held hostage.

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Following the attack, the International Transport Workers’ Federation cautioned the Nigerian government and other West African leaders to beef up security within the coastline.

ITF Seafarers’ Section Coordinator Fabrizio Barcellona, in a statement, said governments across the region had failed to protect seafarers from armed pirates, arms dealers and drug smugglers.

Also, the ITF Seafarers’ Section Chair, David Heindel, said: “Governments must take immediate action to prevent more seafarers being murdered in the Gulf of Guinea.”

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Speaking on the development, the immediate National President of Nigerian Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association (NMNOWTSSA), Matthew Alalade, asked the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to engage seafarers and seafaring unions in helping to proffer solutions to the incessant attacks.

He blamed the continued attacks on the refusal of the agency to adhere to earlier advice given by the seafarers to nip the menace in the bud.

Alalade queried if the tracking devices, C14 and drone recently acquired by NIMASA were not functioning, arguing that if they were working, the attack wouldn’t have been as potent as it was in the GoG.

He said with the huge money on security to procure gadgets from Israel and the mega global security summit at Abuja, the country still faces threats daily at the waters as if the security is not there.

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