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Nigerian Ship Hijacked In Somalia

Posted by By Christian Okpara on 2008/08/12 | Views: 1681 |

Nigerian Ship Hijacked In Somalia


A Nigerian ship has joined a long list of vessels hijacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia when a new ship bound for Nigeria, the Yenagoa Ocean was, last week seized by Somali pirates.

A Nigerian ship has joined a long list of vessels hijacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia when a new ship bound for Nigeria, the Yenagoa Ocean was, last week seized by Somali pirates.

Yesterday, the family of the ship's captain, Captain Graham Ebiware Egbegi, expressed worry about the uncertain fate of their son and called on the Federal Governement to wade into the matter to rescue their sibling.

At the weekend, a German couple kidnapped by the pirates, were rescued after two months in captivity.

Narrating their son's ordeal to The Guardian, spokesman of the Egbegi family, Trigo Egbegi, said Captain Egbegi and his crew went to Dubai to take delivery of the vessel, Yenagoa Ocean, via the Pacific route and on their way back to Nigeria, one of the crew members fell ill, and the team decided to land in the nearest port to seek treatment for him.

"Mogadishu was the nearest city to them and they decided to berth in the city for urgent medical attention to the man," he said. "They radioed the Mogadishu port and got permission to berth there. On their way, the ship was intercepted by pirates, who seized and took the crew to an unknown destination. Now the pirates are demanding for a $1 million ransom, failure which they have threatened to kill all the crew,'' Egbegi said.

He revealed that the owners of the ship, ESL Integrated Services, have been doing their best to ensure that the ship and its crew were released, "but up till now, they have not succeeded. Now, we have been left with no other option than to alert the federal government and Nigerians on the plight of the crew," he said.

Egbegi, who said he had found it difficult to get in touch with the managing director of ESL Services because he was said to have traveled out of the country, said the family depends on the Federal Government to help it secure the release of Captain Egbegi and his crew.

Piracy has been rife off Somalia since the country slid into chaos after warlords toppled military dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991. Many pirates claim to be "coastguards" protecting their waters against illegal fishing and dumping of toxic waste.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.