As widespread condemnation greet Nigeria’s loss at the IMO COUNCIL elections yesterday in London, Director General of Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Dr Dakuku Peterside, has blamed the closure of Nigeria’s land border coupled with an unprecedented international conspiracy as the reason Nigeria lost to Kenya in the crucial IMO elections.
Dakuku who spoke exclusively with Shipping World on Sunday said ” our African brothers mobilized against us for reasons best known to them. Benin Republic told us bluntly ‘If you want our vote, go reopen your land borders “. Dakuku was surprised that despite the fatherly role Nigeria has played on the continent, some countries didn’t like our rising profile and insisted on working against us.
He said this was not just about putting our house in order and that it was a political chess game and conspiracy at the highest diplomatic level. He explained that even countries like Sweden got kicked out while the US narrowly made it to category A. While admitting that there was still work to be done, the NIMASA helmsman told Shipping World that ” whether you like it or not, Nigeria remains a big player in the African continent with the second highest tonnage on the continent. Even countries like Liberia which has the highest tonnage in the world barely made it to category D but with intense support from the US.
He querried ” What dismal performance are we talking about? The last time we lost by 12 votes, this time by a margin of one vote. These issues have nothing to do with NIMASA, rather it was international politics. Our neighbours all voted against us for closing the land borders while Switzerland voted against us because the Nigerian Navy seized their vessel for more than two years” Dakuku concluded. He said at the recent world global maritime security summit, the IMO Secretary General rated Nigeria as the most improved country in maritime compliance
By Asu Beks