What can the Government do to ensure robust security of our waters

Capt Iheanacho Ebubeogu (Mariner)

What I can say there is that,  to reduce what is to be done from the simple security prevention principle and the principle says that there are three security threats forming a triangle on whatever you want to protect, this triangle is made up of three parts and the first part is knowledge that people are knowledgeable about what is being protected, the second part of the triangle is that a few people may have the desire to go and take  or destroy that thing that is being protected; the third component  is that people are now waiting for the opportunity to do so. What any security outfit will do to achieve prevention is to make sure that the triangle does not close up on their opportunity side. Therefore, for you to do that, you must use all means to ensure that whenever there is a threat of a treasure, the appropriate quarters are alerted, when they are alerted they must have all it takes to raise alarm, then that alarm call for a response to forestall that threat.

Capt Deji  Abegunde (Ship Owner)

There is nothing we are doing right in Nigeria, all of us are culpable, tell those in charge of the security.  In the USA, we have the Coast Guard, there is no way you can police Nigeria waters without involvement of the stakeholders and the main problem we have in Nigeria is that the people you asked to do the job are the ones actually working against the system, they are involved in perpetrating the crime, so it’s a difficult situation. If we really want to protect our waterways, everything has to do with our character; let the government re-orientate Nigerians, until then it will be a difficult situation.

Capt Adewale Ishola (Master Mariner)

We have the marine police, but the problem is for them to have the right equipment to work with, we already have the people that can do the job, what remains is to give them the right equipment to work with.  So I think that’s what we need.

Capt Matthew Alalade (Merchant Navy)

Let the government make concerted efforts by engaging stakeholders, they cannot be doing it on their own, if indeed the government want a robust security for our waters let them engage stakeholders let them dialogue and we will find solution to this problem of insecurity on our waters.

Capt Waredi Eniosuoh (Mariner)

The best thing in any situation of insecurity, especially when the security is getting to the waters, the best way to fight is to prevent it from happening; not respond to it because responding to a crime scene in the ocean is a futile approach because one if a ship is hijacked, we have the innocents who are the hostages, are you going to fire on the ship or are you going to go into shoot out with the pirates. So, what are your options? Once a ship is attacked or hijacked, the best thing to do is to negotiate, so you see why I said the best thing to do is to prevent it from happening. Instead of waiting for a ship to be hijacked before responding, and how do you prevent it from happening, you invest in intelligence, it’s very easy to use intelligence to prevent attacks, secondly government needs to deal with the socio economic problem, war can’t solve all the problem.

John Okpono (Merchant Navy)

I believe all of us have to come together, let there be stakeholders meeting where we proffer solution. You know, the Gulf of Guinea is not entirely Nigeria, so there is this issue of trying to put everything on our head and that is why EU said they are coming to take over. So we have to be careful, but by and large, there is need for stakeholders to meet.