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The Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, has assured that the Deep Blue Project will ensure all waterways of the coastal states are covered in their daily patrol to check criminality.

Jamoh also assured that the Special Maritime Intelligence Unit of the Deep Blue Project would engage youths in the creeks through the use of the carrot-and-stick approach.

He stated this while condemning the kidnap of eight Nigerians, five of whom are members of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), in Rivers State.

The eight persons were traveling to Port Harcourt from Kula area in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of the state when the gunmen struck at Kula-Abonnema.

Jamoh, who expressed sadness over the incident, regretted that this was happening when the Nigerian maritime industry was witnessing tremendous gains in the nation’s maritime security sphere and were getting commended for the progress both locally and internationally.

“Apart from condemning this situation, NIMASA is also following the trend of the events, and our Deep Blue assets, especially the C4i and intelligence centres are monitoring and we shall keep the public apprised of progress,” he said.

He also said the agency was not unmindful of pirates’ presence and activities of other marine criminals who were running away from the intense heat in the nation’s territorial waters, courtesy of the enforcement of the Deep Blue Project.

Meanwhile, the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has commended NIMASA and other stakeholders for the release of the abducted members.

The President-General, MWUN, Adewale Adeyanju, urged NIMASA to continue its good work of providing safety on the nation’s waterways, especially the riverine areas, which are prone to pirate attacks.

“We pledge MWUN willingness to continue to partner and collaborate in the onerous task of ensuring safety in our water ways,” he said.