The government of Bayelsa State has officially handed over three fishermen who got lost in the Gulf of Guinea to the Head of Mission of Sao Tome and Principe in Nigeria. The governor, Senator Douye Diri, praised the local fishermen from Okpoama community in Brass Local Government for rescuing their fellow fishermen in the Atlantic Ocean. He commended their selflessness and caring nature, which exemplify the spirit of an Ijaw man and concern for humanity.
Governor Diri emphasized the strong relationship between Nigeria and Sao Tome and Principe, highlighting the fishermen’s rescue as a testament to this bond. He mentioned that his administration, led by the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Pabara Igwele, ensured that the rescued fishermen received necessary healthcare.
The governor applauded Sao Tome and Principe’s government for its care and concern for its citizens, even those engaged in fishing. This demonstrated their genuine value for their people.
Governor Diri also acknowledged the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) for its role in the rescue operation. He further called for NIMASA’s presence in Bayelsa and other coastal states to handle similar situations.
His words, “I got the news of the rescue of these fishermen informally. I then tried to use a formal government system and the security agencies to confirm that we had two citizens of Sao Tome and Principe that were rescued by some Bayelsa fishermen at Okpoama in Brass Local Government Area of the state, while the third one was rescued by NIMASA personnel.
“So, I directed that the three of them be brought to Yenagoa so that they can undergo health checks and probably contact the Sao Tome and Principe government.
“Fortunately, the Sao Tome and Principe Government’s Head of Missions at the embassy in Nigeria made contacts with our government and informed us that he was coming to Yenagoa to receive them.
“I am really very proud of our fishermen who exhibited their Ijawness because the Ijaw man is very hospitable and loves humanity.
“Let me also appreciate the Government of Sao Tome and Principe for going after their citizens who went missing on the Atlantic Ocean for over one week while trying to navigate their way on the sea and the Gulf of Guinea drifted them to the Nigerian boundary.”