Ghanaian Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia on Wednesday called for effective cooperation and collaboration within the region to curb a recent surge in attacks by pirates in the Gulf of Guinea.
He made the remarks at this year’s International Maritime Defence Conference and Exhibition held in Accra, which brought together regional and international chiefs of naval staff, regional air forces, and other stakeholders in the maritime industry from 70 countries and regions.
“130 out of 135 persons kidnapped for ransom globally in 2020 were abducted in the Gulf of Guinea,” said the vice president.
Also, 79 actual and attempted piracy attacks were carried out in the same year, compared with 59 attacks recorded in 2019 along the coasts of Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria, and Benin, he stated.
According to the vice president, the situation had become even more precarious with 2021 recording 30 incidents so far including the abduction of about 10 crew members of two Ghanaian-flagged fishing vessels in separate incidents along the Gulf of Guinea.
He said currently, the criminals at sea were evading counter-piracy measures and have been emboldened thereby, scaling up the insecurity and threat profile in the ocean.
To fight the emerging threats, Bawumia noted that the government is focused on modernizing and re-equipping the Ghana Navy through the acquisition of offshore patrol vessels, fast patrol boats, and crafts. Enditem