Somali pirates are demanding $1 million (US) to release 10 Nigerians recently reported to be in their custody. The Nigerians were kidnapped over 18 months ago when their vessel, the MV Yenagoa Ocean, was seized.
The kidnapped Nigerians are
- Graham Egbegi (Captain)
- David Akpoguma
- Namo Musa
- Usman Ochoche Agida
- Lucky Edoja
- John Nkanu
- Effiong Joseph
- Emma Okon Timothy
- Okuns Kalikio
- Bassey Etim
Despite these concerns, it is in the interest of the Federal Government of Nigeria, which is increasingly seen as not being committed to the interests of the people, to bring these individuals home. Such success would advance the government's goals of reorienting the way Nigerians view the government and in fact, would be helpful at changing the nation's image abroad - two issues sought to be addressed by the new national re-branding project.
Being that the MV Yenagoa Ocean is a private vessel reportedly owned by the relative of a powerful current Minister, the owner of the ship should cough up the money. The owner, working with or without the diplomatic arm of the government, should work hard to gain the freedom of these individuals, In fact, it is surprising that the Nigerian press is yet to release the name of the individual or company that owns the MV Yenagoa Ocean and is thus responsible for the safety of the crew. The revelation of such information could have been useful in putting more pressure on all parties to work efficiently for the peaceful and successful resolution of this matter. But, at the end of the day, the most important thing is that these Nigerians return to their families and that this government create and implement a plan that will help to prevent a repeat of this sad situation.
Related Articles of Interest:
- Somali Pirates, Nigerian Hostages & African Silence
- Nigeria's Re-branding Effort
- Using Nigerians to Re-Brand Nigeria
- Why I Blog About Africa
- Who Will Fight For Nigeria? (AFRICOM PT. 1)
- AFRICOM... The Dotted Line Has Been Signed