Mazi Joseph Anabaraonye (Freight Forwarders Academy of Nigeria)
Piracy on Nigeria’s territory waters is a big baffle because of the nature of our coastal waters and inland water ways. It requires a lot of resources and a lot of work to police and to engage the coast guards but it is now left to the government to know what to do, if you look at it form ISPS code angle, you will see that the government is supposed to police any entrance and access to the waterways.
Policing the coastal waters is not an easy task and that is why we need helicopters to fly and also radars to monitor and find out activities going on at any point in time, if there is this level of commitment, then we can be able to provide some level of security. So far, it has been all talk and no action from the government, we have so far been lackadaisical about the issue everybody need to put resources together to fight the issue because we are talking about criminals who know the consequence of their actions, they are well armed and so they need to be equipped too.
Capt Thomas Kemewerigha (Merchant Navy)
The Navy has come to tell us that they don’t have the power to combat the pirates because of the state of their boats and the needed equipment to discharge their duties. This was said at the international conference on piracy which held in Abuja.
The presidency, National Assembly and other government bodies should come to their rescue by providing them with the needed materials to enable them discharge their duties effectively, because lives are lost are lost and people are dying everyday, properties worth millions of Naira are destroyed in the process. The government should pleased equip the Navy for efficient service delivery because it’s their sole responsibility to protect our waters.
Oladipo Bolade (PRO ANLCA, Tin Can)
I think we are wining the battle gradually, but we still need to improve because if you look at the menace of all these pirates on our high seas, its coming down to a drastic level, but we still want government to do more about it. There are still series of pirate misbehaviours but at least government is trying to solve the problem.
However, to further address the problem let the federal government equip the marine aspect of the arm forces that is the Navy; they should equip them so that they can fight pirates effectively. It is probably only the Navy or the marine Police that can challenge the menace of these pirates, if they are well equipped; I know they are equal to the task.
The government is really trying its best to cub the activities of the pirates and sea robbers; we see the activities of these boys and how they attack ships and most especially fishing trawlers. The government is trying, but what we, as individuals need to do is to encourage government by suggesting positively and prefer solutions which government can apply to stop the menace, its not good to just sit down and criticize and if you must, do it constructively such that you proffer solutions. Those pirates are humans, so let every one of us try and supply information about their unscrupulous activities.
Anonymous (Merchant Navy)
The problem can be curtailed if the federal government has the political will to do it even without the use of force. These pirates are not ghosts because whenever a vessel is hijacked, ransom money is demanded and it is paid into an account which will be picked up by somebody, these people can be traced.
Secondly, these people gain access to the waters through the creeks which the Navy, if properly equipped can block. Also, government should collaborate with village heads to monitor the activities of their wards, so also there should be creation of more job opportunities; there should be aggressive and consistent campaign against it in all languages over the media in other to put an end to this menace.
Mr. Olanife Adeoye (Petroleum product marketer)
I must confess that the government is not doing enough to tackle the situation; the situation was not like this before, it deteriorated gradually and some of the things that have made it to thrive in Nigeria is ‘godfatherism’, some of the people sponsoring the activities of these pirates are the big shots in government, party chieftains and so on, they have made it difficult to fight the battle and it is causing embarrassment for this country, in this, government has not done much. Meanwhile it is some of these politicians that imported arms and ammunitions, gave it to these boys to campaign for election after which they dump them.
Sea robbery in Nigeria has now gone beyond high jacking ships and boats to kidnapping of people and children.
There should be a special funds organized by the government to really take care of the menace, special security force should be organized for this and they should further equip the police and other security agencies. You and I can not solve the problem; it is only our brothers at the National Assembly that can do it.
Uwajaje Collins (Shipper)
The problem of piracy on our waters has continued to increase despite the fact that there are security agents that are in charge of the area. Whenever a vessel or trawler is high jacked, a large sum of money is demanded as ransom, the banks to me are also involved in this because account numbers are given and money is paid into these accounts which are Nigerian banks, they should be questioned about the owners of these accounts.
I also believe that it is the absence of cooperation that is responsible for our present predicament; the relevant agencies that are saddled with the responsibilities of keeping the water ways safe should also change their mode of operation.
The government also has part of showing goodwill should make socio economic policies that will empower the Niger Delta youths who are the brains behind the attacks on our waters