Jonathan to confer with African leaders on piracy in Gulf of Guinea

Presidential spokesman, Reuben Abati, stated this in a statement.

President Goodluck Jonathan will on Sunday travel to Yaounde, Cameroun, to participate in the Summit of West and Central African Heads of State and Government on Maritime Security in the Gulf of Guinea which opens there on June 24.

The summit has been convened against the background of rising incidents of piracy in the resource-rich Gulf of Guinea.

Mr. Jonathan will join other Heads of State of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) and the Economic Community of Central Africa States (ECCAS) in the Cameroonian capital to deliberate on new proposals and a joint action plan to tackle piracy and maritime criminality in the gulf.

The presidential spokesman, Rueben Abati, said in a statement that the documents to be considered and ratified by Heads of State at the Summit include a Memorandum of Agreement among ECOWAS, ECCAS and the Gulf of Guinea Commission on maritime safety and security in West and Central Africa; the policy statements of the Heads of State and Government on maritime safety and security; as well as a Code of Conduct on the fight against piracy, armed robbery and illegal maritime activities.

It is expected that at the conclusion of the summit, legal instruments for cooperation on maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea will be adopted by participating heads of state and government.

The legal instruments and the Memorandum of Agreement on joint prevention and repression of illegal activities in the gulf will establish a concrete basis for the two regional blocs to share intelligence, conduct joint patrols and jointly repress piracy in their maritime domain.

President Jonathan will be accompanied to the summit by the Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke; the Minister of Interior, Abba Moro; the Minister of Transport, Idris Umar; Minister of State for Defence, Olusola Obada; the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Joseph Ezeoba; and the Director-General of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Patrick Akpobolokemi.

The president will also hold bi-lateral talks with President Paul Biya on bilateral issues such as border security and the welfare of Nigerians living in Cameroon. He will meet with the Nigerian community in Cameroon before returning to Abuja on Tuesday, Mr. Abati said.

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