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Seafarers union lauds police commissioner over arrest of fake Merchant Navy officers 

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Segun Oladipupo

The Nigerian Merchant Navy Officers and  Water Transport Senior Staff Association (NMNOWTSSA) has commended the arrest of over 100 alleged fake officers operating as Merchant Navy personnel.

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) affiliate commended the Lagos State Commissioner of Police for the timely intervention, noting that those arrested were not members of the legitimate body.

The group described the arrest as a welcome development that will serve as a deterrent to other fake bodies extorting unsuspecting Nigerians of their hard earned money.

In a statement signed by the Secretary General of the union, Comrade John Okpono Aleakhue, the union explained that it is the only body representing Nigerian seamen locally and internationally

The union scribe noted that the seafaring union operates within the ambit of the law and has no link with those parading tjemselves as security operatives.

The group noted that it is the only recognised body the Federal Government officially gazetted and registered and saddled with the responsibility of catering for the welfare of Nigerian Seafarers (Officers).

However, he called on the general public and the Nigeria police that such general statement of proscribing the Merchant Navy without reservation is damaging and misleading, adding that “It is therefore our submission that the proscription order be restricted to the miscreants organizations.

“We the Nigeria Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association (NMNO/WTSSA), the only recognised Fed FCeral Government official gazetted and registered body saddle with the responsibility of catering for the welfare of Nigerian Seafarers (Officers) write to appreciate the effort of the Nigerian Police Force,  mostly the Lagos State Police command or the clamp down on the illegal Merchant Navy outfit (Coastal Defence Force).

“This is a welcome development that will serve as a deterrent to other fake body extorting our teaming Nigeria youths of their hard earn money.

“However, we the registered and recognized body for the welfare and well being of seafarers wish to disassociate our humble organization that is affiliate of ITF LONDON & TUC Nigeria from the unscrupulous activities of the pseudo Merchant Navy outfit. We don’t know them and have nothing in common with them and it’s nefarious activities.

“We want to inform the general public and the Nigeria police that such general statement of proscribing the Merchant Navy without reservation is damaging and misleading.

“We, are the fourth arm of the Government of the federal Republic of Nigerian in the event of distress and a professional body with global outlook.

“We represent the Nigeria Seafarers both locally and internationally. Since will operate within the ambit of the law, no security agency can proscribe us.

“It’s therefore our submission that the proscription order be restricted to the miscreants organizations. We are legal and legitimate in our operations as enshrined in the trade unions (Amendment) act No 22 of 1978.

“We wish to appeal to our members all over the globe to remain calm while the leadership of our great Association is making emphatic moves to erase the embarrassment as a result of the police biased information before the public.

“Nigeria Merchant Navy Officers and water transport Senior Staff Association is the umbrella body for Nigeria Seafarers. It can not be outlaw by anybody as far as Maritime activities is concerned.

“Recall that NMNOWTSSA had notified the federal government, Nigeria Navy, Police and the office of the National Security Adviser NSA about the activities of this group that disguise as Marine merchants

“Merchant Marines are the fourth Arm of the Armed Forces helping with logistics etc.These roles are not unique to Nigerian Merchant Marine but universally recognised. This is reenforced by the interest of the Armed Forces in the training at the Maritime Academy of Nigeria.”

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