The Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Patrick Akpobolokemi, said yesterday that influential Nigerians, including politicians, were behind piracy and oil theft in the country.
Akpobolokemi, who spoke with journalists in Abuja, however, refused to mention their names.
The DG explained that though there was nothing wrong about disclosing their names, he nonetheless said many might read political meanings into it in view of the coming 2015 general elections.
He said: “Many pirates had been arrested. Those who are into piracy are doing it on behalf of influential Nigerians.
“Lagos was a no-go-area before now. We have taken on those behind piracy and oil theft. Today you can hardly hear news of piracy in Lagos because of the cooperation we had with the authorities of the Benin Republic. We will clean up the industry.
“The area we have been having challenge is prosecution; but the Attorney General of the Federation is also stepping into it.
“For the names of the influential Nigerians behind piracy and oil theft, I will be content to say it is a sensitive issue. We may not be able to release names now.
“That is not to say there is anything secret about their names. I will reveal all the big names involved. But people should not come and say it is ethnic cleansing or that it is because of 2015 general elections.”
Courtesy National Mirror
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