Nigeria and Cameroon join forces to fight against piracy over the Gulf of Guinea. With reported encounters focused off the coast of Nigeria, the Gulf of Guinea still remains a worldwide hot spot for piracy.
Naval coordination on the region has been a concern as the gulf encompasses seventeen countries along Central and West Africa. However, Nigeria and Cameroon are presently reporting a number of successes.
Recently, the Nigerian navy officials received Le Ntem, a Cameroonian warship, after it made a pass over rough seas to reach off the coast of Calabar.
Capt. Muhammad Bida of the Nigerian navy was among the officers present at the event.
Captain Bida said that they have to receive and escort the Cameroonian war ship inside since their channel is the longest in Nigeria and it is about 90 kilometers going inside.
The visit of the Cameroonian war ship was part of the current cooperation between the two navies since 2014. Both countries’ navy allows each other to enter its territorial waters for security purposes. Both navies also have established a communication system and give each other support during operations.
While entering Nigeria, the crew of the Cameroonian war ship opened fire to warn the crew of a ship which they claimed was fishing in a restricted area. In a short while, the Nigerian naval ships arrived to help.
Cameroonian navy’s Captain Fabrice Ntieuche said stated that the fishing vessel did not follow instructions which led to the warning shots and eventually the arrest of its occupants.
Nigeria’s eastern naval command in Calabar Rear Admiral James Oluwole said both countries’ collaboration have helped check the acts of piracy and have made several arrests and emphasized that if all the countries join forces, the more they can do to safeguard the coasts.
With the collaboration between the two countries, the incidents of piracy decreased within the Gulf of Guinea from 53 in 2013 and 2014 to 14 at present.