By Abel Krabee
WorldStage Newsonline‚ÄîNigeria‚Äôs Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Joseph Ezeoba, has called for closer working ties between Gulf of Guinea (GoG) states in order to eradicate all forms of illegalities in the region.
Speaking Monday at the first GoG Regional Maritime Awareness Capability Conference (RMAC) in Calabar, Ezeoba said the region remained a strategic maritime environment with enormous potential that has been persistently challenged with myriads of threats directed mainly at the economy of its littoral and landlocked states.
These threats he said had become a source of concern, not only to the region but also to the international community.
He listed some of them to include piracy, drug and human trafficking, oil theft and proliferation of oil theft among others.
Ezeoba said as discomforting as these threats appeared, they were not insurmountable hence the clarion call for the enthronement of constructive, proactive, sustainable and holistic maritime security architecture.
According to him, such structure would ensure a secure and safe maritime environment for optimal exploration and exploitation of the abundant marine resources that is germane for socio-economic growth and national development of sub-Saharan Africa while providing economic opportunities for the rest of the world.
He said an effective maritime security regime in the GoG must be pitched on the core attributes such as the elimination of sea blindness within the African continent, sincerity of purpose, strength of character and above all the political will of all member states and stakeholders to effectively cooperate and collaborate in the overall interest of the common objective of eradicating all forms of illegalities within the gulf of Guinea.
Ezeoba said, the collaborative effort of establishing RMAC stations within some West and Central African States in partnership with the United States Government for effective monitoring of their respective maritime space had become a significant step towards ensuring the attainment of an integrated Maritime Domain Awareness architecture within the region.