FG to deploy $195m maritime security equipment
The Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi yesterday in Lagos berated the vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 election, Mr. Peter Obi over Obi, for his response to his (Amaechi) comment on Igbo quest for the presidency in 2023.
Speaking at a meeting with maritime stakeholders, Amaechi stated that as someone who has been in politics for a long time he understands that a region must play national politics to make a claim to the presidency.
According to him, “You can’t just come and say give us the presidency; you don’t want to fight for it, you just want us to wake up and say, ‘wake up from sleep take it.’ It does not work like that and it will not work like that; it will not. And let Peter Obi close his mouth because he lost an election; I won an election. He can’t talk; we won, that is why President Buhari will be sworn in tomorrow (today) and not Atiku. If you ask my son now, ‘what is in the history of Nigeria? He will say President Buhari won in 2015 when it was almost impossible – led by me and Peter Obi was on the other side. In 2019, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) thought it was almost impossible; we also won again. What is Peter Obi’s anger now? Beg him to leave me alone; let’s face more important things.”
Addressing maritime stakeholders, he assured them that insecurity in Nigeria’s waters will be a thing of the past when the $195 million maritime security approved by President Muhammadu Buhari is fully deployed.
Specifically, he said, “I am here to tell you how far we have gone with the $195 million maritime security contract that the president and the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved for the nation’s maritime security. You are aware that the situation is very bad now; the maritime sector in terms of security the president is aware of it, but what we showed to the stakeholders is that the equipment we need to combat this threat in the maritime sector is not off-the-shelf equipment. We are buying two helicopters, two planes, three vessels that you can almost call like a war vessel but it is not, 19 interceptors, which is fast speed boats that has the capacity to go to the delta.
“Part of the problem we have is that most of the vessels we have can’t go through the creeks because of how shallow the water is. What we are buying can go through the creeks. We have shown the stakeholders and deployment will start in June this year; the impact of that deployment we cannot explain because not all the equipment are in place but we will start in June to see how we can stop these criminals from converting our waters into a theatre of war. We think that between June and first quarter of 2020, we would have completed deployment, then you can hold us responsible for any crime that takes place in the water. At that point we would have finished training of our personnel led by the Nigerian Navy because the equipment will be manned by the navy. The Army, police, air force, DSS and NIMASA are also involved in the effort to rid our waters of criminals. “