Pirates kidnapped 12 crew members from a Swiss merchant vessel on Saturday in Nigerian waters, the ship’s operator said in a statement.
Kidnapping for ransom is a common problem in parts of Nigeria. A number of foreigners have been kidnapped in the last few years in the southern Niger Delta region.
Massoel Shipping, operator of MV Glarus, said the vessel carrying wheat was travelling between Lagos and Port Harcourt when it was boarded by pirates, who took 12 away of the 19 crew members.
The company said the attack happened around 45 nautical miles south west of Bonny Island.
“The company is working with the authorities and specialists to secure the speedy and safe release of those being held,” Massoel Shipping said in its statement.
The statement did not give the nationalities of the crew members.
However, the abducted crew members were identified as nationals of Philippines, Slovenia, Ukraine, Romania, Croatia, and Bosnia. An official of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr. Sunday Umoren, was quoted by Reuters as saying that seven of those abducted were from the Philippines and one from each of the other five countries.
“They are still missing,” Umoren, who heads maritime safety at NIMASA, reportedly said.
Again, APC, PDP Trade Blames over Alleged Arms Build-up in Bayelsa
Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday raised the alarm that the All Progressives Congress (APC) is stockpiling arms in Bayelsa State in the build-up to the 2019 general elections.
The State Chairman of the PDP, Chief Moses Cleopas, alleged in a statement in Yenagoa, the state capital, that the leaders of the APC in Bayelsa State were stockpiling arms to cause mayhem during the elections.
But in a reaction, the APC said it was another attempt by the Seriake Dickson-led government to prevent people from discovering the truth about another orgy of violence being planned by the PDP.
However, Cleopas said the PDP leadership in the state had to raise the alarm to draw the attention of the security agencies to the ‘evil’ plot of the APC leaders whose activities he said led to the death of several innocent Bayelsans in the last election in 2015.
The PDP chairman called on security agencies to investigate the ‘sinister’ activities of the APC members to prevent a repeat of the mayhem and bloodletting that characterised the 2015 election.
He said PDP was not surprised by the strategy of violence being adopted by the APC leaders reputed for violence as they promised President Muhammed Buhari that they would deliver the state to him even when they lacked the support base and capacity to do so.
He said: “It has come to the attention of the PDP that the leaders of the APC are leading other members of the party to stockpile arms to cause mayhem in our state. “We are not suprised that the APC is contemplating this strategy of violence after having boasted to their leader, President Buhari, that they would deliver Bayelsa when they are unpopular and have no support base to achieve that.
“Bayelsans are already aware of the violent reputation of these so called leaders as clearly shown by the orgy of violence they unleashed on innocent citizens in the last election.
“That is why we are sounding this warning early enough so that the security agencies can quickly wade into this matter and investigate this arms build up, with a view to arresting those who are behind the planned mayhem.
“The PDP is prepared for free, fair and credible election devoid of violence, bloodshed and the death of any Bayelsan. The APC should do the same as the ruling party.
“We want the security agencies to investigate it, we don’t want a repeat of the violence of 2015.”
However, in a statement issued yesterday by the APC spokesman in the state, Doifie Buokoribo, the APC alleged that the ruling PDP in the state was planning a re-enactment of the electoral violence the members unleashed on APC supporters in 2015 with the personal participation of Governor Henry Seriake Dickson.
“We would have ignored the infantile allegation deployed in the characteristically unintelligible style of PDP in the state under Governor Henry Seriake Dickson. But we are constrained to respond just to warn our people, the good people of Bayelsa, to be wary of Dickson and his gang at a time like this.
“ Their strategy has not changed – flying spurious allegations against the APC to try to divert attention from their demonic plots. What is uncertain is the manner of evil they want to unleash on the people this time.
“There is an umpteen frantic attempt by the Dickson syndicate to keep the change-inclined masses of Bayelsa bound under a colourless administration bereft of imagination. And the only way they can achieve that is by visiting violence on the electorate.
“APC is a peaceful party of peaceful and development-oriented people. We shall remain so, despite being victims of PDP violence, and will remain committed to seeking justice only through lawful means.
“We call on the security agencies to follow the obvious lead by Dickson and his people in order to nip in the bud whatever nefarious plans they may have up their sleeve,” APC said.
Again, APC Postpones Presidential Primary
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has shifted the date of its presidential primary election from September 25 to September 27.
The acting spokesman of the ruling party, Yekini Nabena who made this known in a statement yesterday did not give reasons for the change in date.
The party had last week shifted the election from September 20 to September 25.
“The presidential direct primary election earlier scheduled for Tuesday, September 25, 2018 will now hold on Thursday, September 27, 2018,” the statement read. Duly registered party members are to collect their permanent membership cards from their respective wards,” the statement explained.