The Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria, Amb. Melih Ulueren, recently played host to the Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, in Abuja to discuss issues relating to the Kidnapping of 15 Turkish Seafarers onboard a Liberian Flagged Vessel outside Nigerian Waters.
In his opening remarks, the Ambassador passionately appealed to the Nigerian Government and NIMASA to ensure the speedy rescue of 15 Turkish Seafarers recently kidnapped on board MV MOZART in the Gulf of Guinea and reunite the seafarers with their respective families in turkey. Ulueren also inquired if there is any support NIMASA would need from the Turkish Government and what NIMASA is doing about the spate of attacks in the Gulf of Guinea.
Jamoh in his response said that the Nigerian Government is doing everything humanly possible to ensure that these sea pirates are identified and their Nationality known since the incident happened outside Nigerian territorial waters. Jamoh discolsed that the Minister of Transportation has approved the deployment of two special mission vessels under the Deep Blue project to immediately move towards the area of the kidnapped victims to support the rescue mission.
Jamoh highlighted various incentives being rolled out by NIMASA to curtail piracy and other maritime-related crime. He stated the successes achieved with the passage of the Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences Act, 2019 (SPOMO Act) which has been used in successfully prosecuting several maritime offenders.
The DG promised that NIMASA would continue to provide every assistance needed till the 15 Turkish Seafarers regain their freedom. He also promised that if and when the need arises during the rescue mission that NIMASA is willing to deploy its helicopters to bring back the kidnapped seafarers.
The Turkish Ambassador thanked the DG and his team for honoring his invitation and reassuring the Turkish Government on the rescue efforts by NIMASA and the Nigerian Government as a whole to ensure the safe return of the Turkish citizens.
It will be recalled that Dr. Jamoh, immediately after the incident, condemned the pirate attack and expressed his sadness over the loss of the Azerbaijani sailor onboard the MV MOZART via his Twitter handle @JamohBashir. The NIMASA DG thereafter followed up with a phone call to the Turkish Ambassador with the assurance that the Agency was doing its best by engaging all the support mechanisms at its disposal for a de-confliction of the situation and safe return of the kidnapped Turkish seamen.