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Piracy, Armed Robbery in Gulf of Guinea Has Reduced- Touray

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Piracy, Armed Robbery in Gulf of Guinea Has Reduced- Touray

By: Michael Mike

The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr Omar Touray has said that the Gulf of Guinea has continued to witness a downward trend in piracy and armed robbery attacks over the year.

He noted that this was achieved through the efforts of the Inter-regional Coordination Centre, ICC, insisting that its achievements in maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea is quite commendable.

Touray made this known at the 4th Annual Meeting of the Heads of Institution (HOI) of the ICC, at the ECOWAS Commission Headquarters in Abuja, on Thursday.

ICC was created in September 2014 by ECOWAS, the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the Gulf of Guinea Commission (GGC) with the mission of serving as the Coordination Centre on maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea following the 2013 Yaoundé Summit of ECOWAS, ECCAS and GGC Heads of State and Government.

Touray in his address on Thursday, said: “Since the Political Declaration of our Heads of State, substantial progress has been made in our maritime community.

”This included the adoption of National Maritime Strategies and the deployment of critical maritime infrastructure that has improved maritime situational awareness.

“With regards to our MoU, some progress has been achieved by the governing body on inter-institutional coordination.

”The Coordination Centre receives funding, and its annual Work Plan and Budget are approved, including the operations of Maritime Operational Centres.”

Touray added that the importance ICC for global maritime security and safety cannot be wished away, noting that it attracted the interest of many development partners.

He listed them to include the G77++ Friends of the Gulf of Guinea, the European Union, the German Federal Government and the Chinese Government for their different support and assistance.

He said: “Their assistance has contributed to our success in establishing the ECOWAS Regional Maritime Security Centre (CRESMAO) in Abidjan, with three Multinational Maritime Coordination Centres (MMCC) in Cotonou (Zone E), in Accra (Zone F), and in Praia (Zone G).

“Similarly, the ECCAS Maritime Security Architecture established a Regional Centre for Maritime Security in Central Africa (CRESMAC) in Pointe Noire, as well as Multinational Maritime Coordination Centres in Douala (Zone D) and in Luanda (Zone A).

“The establishment of maritime information sharing networks between ECOWAS and ECCAS have improved information sharing and situational awareness.”

Touray while noting that the Gulf of Guinea has continued to witness a downward trend in piracy and armed robbery attacks, added that: “According to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), actual and attempted piracy and sea robbery incidents saw a downturn trend from 31 in 2015, 18 in 2021 to 15 in 2022.

“Incidences of piracy and armed robbery further declined to 6 attacks in the first quarter of 2024 in the Gulf of Guinea. This is thanks to our institutional actions and collective responses.”

Touray, however, stated that in spite of such laudable progress, the ICC had serious challenges, which included non-recruitment of key staff, irregular funding, and breakdown of essential services.

He said that there was still a need for regular review of the progress and challenges on the level of implementation of the Declaration, stressing that it was important to take concrete steps to address the challenges.

“The Code of Conduct on the Prevention and Suppression of Acts of Piracy, Armed Robbery Against Ships and Illicit Maritime Activities in West and Central Africa was supposed to be turned into a legally binding Agreement three years after its adoption in Yaoundé in 2013.

“Thus far, we have not achieved this after the 10th Year Anniversary of the Yaoundé process. It is therefore important that we critically appraise our institutional responses on the Code of Conduct,” he said.

Touray urged the ICC governing body, which comprises the Presidents of the Commissions of ECOWAS and ECCAS, and the Executive Secretary of the GGC, to review a new EU project, ‘Safe Seas’ for the region and the Yaoundé Architecture Regional Information Sharing (YARIS) tool.

He also called on member states to streamline development corporations and partnerships to ensure that ICC provided the necessary oversight to guide the Coordination Centre.

Also speaking, the Executive Secretary, Gulf of Guinea Commission, Jose Abeso, said the region was still facing the challenges of maritime insecurity, stressing that the objective was to eliminate all forms of criminality in the domain.

He said that the law on criminal activities in the maritime sector in the Gulf of Guinea should be harmonized to act as effective detriments against committing such crimes.

“Our maritime domain is the next destination for the sustainable economic development of our countries.

”Our governments cannot or should not leave the running of institutions meant to patrol this area, to ensure that security and safety of activities is not left to third parties,” Abeso said.

Participants at the event included the President of the Commission of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), Gilberto Verissimo.

Others were the representative of the UN Office for West Africa and Sahel (UNOWAS) and that of the UN Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA).

Piracy, Armed Robbery in Gulf of Guinea Has Reduced- Touray

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Our Children Our Future: As First Lady Federal Republic of Nigeria, Sen Oluremi Tinubu celebrates children at the Banquet Hall State House.

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Our Children Our Future: As First Lady Federal Republic of Nigeria, Sen Oluremi Tinubu celebrates children at the Banquet Hall State House.

By: Our Reporter

International Children’s Day is marked every year in Nigeria as other countries of the world since the UN General Assembly declaration in 1959 to honour the rights of children .

The day is celebrated on different dates by most countries across the globe with special focus on issues relating to welfare and the wellbeing of the child.

Nigeria joined other nations in 1964, setting aside 27th May as children’s Day.

For children in Public schools in the FCT and some orphanages the 2024 Children’s Day is a remarkably one as they joined the First Lady , wife of the Vice President Hajiya Nana Shettima , wife of the Senate President Mrs Ekaette Akpabio, Wife speaker House of Representatives Hajiya Fatima Abass and other Dignitaries at the Banquet Hall of the State House to celebrate the day .

The host, Sen Oluremi Tinubu, said she was happy to celebrate the day with the children who are the future of our nation .

She noted that the day serves as a reminder of the rights of the children . Highlighting the joy children bring to us.”

It is incumbent for us to show love, care, and nurture children”. the First Lady stated that the Renewed Hope Initiative is supporting vision of the president through various programs for children in the country to achieve their full potentials .

The First Lady Senator Oluremi announced a grant of 10m Naira to each of the participating schools in the FCT.

The Wife of the Vice President Hajiya Nana Shettima, in an address of welcome, admonishes children to inculcate the values of respect, discipline, and hard work .

She noted that the programs of RHI is geared towards empowerment for women to have a multiplier effect on the family as an empowered woman can meet the needs of her children, including Education
There were various cultural performances by the school children depicting unity in diversity. The performances were crowned with an emotional display from children from the school of the blind.
Cheques of 10m were presented to each of the schools.

Our Children Our Future: As First Lady Federal Republic of Nigeria, Sen Oluremi Tinubu celebrates children at the Banquet Hall State House.

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Zulum Vows Fair Distribution of FG’s 37,000 bags of assorted grains donated to Borno

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Zulum Vows Fair Distribution of FG’s 37,000 bags of assorted grains donated to Borno

The governor of Borno State, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, assured the general public, on Monday, of the judicious distribution of 37,000 bags of assorted food items donated by the federal government to the most deserving and vulnerable members of society.

Zulum made this statement during the official handover of 37,000 bags by the National Emergecy Management Agency (NEMA) central store in Maiduguri.

The assorted food items include maize, surghum, millet and garri.

“On behalf of the government and people of Bormo State, I want to profoundly express our appreciation to the federal government under the leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for allocating 37,000 bags of assorted food items,” Zulum said.

The governor further said “I want to use this medium to assure the federal government that the assorted grains will be judiciously distributed to the less previledged and most vulnerable and deserving households in the state. It will not be diverted; I will ensure every deserving member of the society gets it.”

Zulum said this is not the first time the federal government is assisting the people of Bormo State, stressing that they have supported the state in the areas of food items, housing, among others.

“I also want to use this opportunity to express our appreciation to President Bola Tinubu, Vice President Kashim Shettima and the Director General of NEMA, among other organisations for their support to the state,” Zulum reiterated.

Handing over the assorted grains, the Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mallam Zubaida Umar, said, “President Bola Tinubu approved the release of 42,000 metric tonnes of assorted grains from the national reserve to vulnerable households and groups to cushion the economic hardship.”

The Director General of NEMA, is represented by the the Northeast Zonal Director, Mallam Yakubu Suleiman.

Zulum Vows Fair Distribution of FG’s 37,000 bags of assorted grains donated to Borno

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Children’s Day: NHRC Expresses Concern Over Increasing Cases of Violation of the Rights of the Child

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Children’s Day: NHRC Expresses Concern Over Increasing Cases of Violation of the Rights of the Child

By: Michael Mike

The Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission NHRC, Dr. Tony Ojukwu has expressed concern over the alarming and continuous rise in cases of violations of the rights of children across the country.

In a statement to commemorate the 2024 Children’s Day, Ojukwu said the disturbing trend which is captured in the Commission’s monthly dashboard (on report of human right violations across the country) underscore an urgent need for a renewed commitment from all facets of the society to protect and guarantee the fundamental rights of our children.

The Executive Secretary said Children represent the most vulnerable population and the consistent increase in reported violations of their right is a stark reminder of the challenges they face daily. “These violations not only threaten their immediate well-being but also compromise their future potentials and the overall health and security of our society. It is therefore imperative that we act decisively and with urgency to address this menace”.

He said though the Child Right Act has been passed by several states in Nigeria, there is a need for the various state governments to strengthen its implementation in order to protect children from all forms of abuse, exploitation, and neglect.

Ojukwu, also used the opportunity of the Children’s Day to call on the government to develop a comprehensive support system for children in distress, create accessible and well-resourced child protection services, helplines, and shelters, that will alleviate the suffering of the victims, he said.

He noted that it is imperative to train professionals in children centered education, social welfare, healthcare, and law enforcement to enable them identify and respond to child right violations and other social problems effectively.

He emphasised that education is key to raise awareness about children’s rights among parents, caregivers, educators, and children themselves, this will empower children to understand and assert their rights.

He also harped on the need to establish a robust mechanism for monitoring, reporting, and addressing violations of children’s rights. “This will ensure that there is accountability at all levels, and that perpetrators of violations are brought to justice”.

According to him, the protection of children’s rights is not merely a legal obligation but a moral imperative which will secure the future of the country. “As we celebrate Children’s Day 2024, let us reaffirm our commitment to creating a safe, supportive, and nurturing environment for every child”

Children’s Day: NHRC Expresses Concern Over Increasing Cases of Violation of the Rights of the Child

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