The Bayelsa State government has handed over three fishermen who were rescued after losing their way on the Gulf of Guinea to the Sao Tome and Principe head of mission in Nigeria. Governor Douye Diri commended the local fishermen from Okpoama community in Brass local government for their heroic efforts in rescuing the stranded individuals. The governor emphasized the spirit of brotherhood and solidarity demonstrated by the Bayelsa fishermen and highlighted the positive relations between Nigeria and Sao Tome and Principe.
During the handover ceremony at the Government House in Yenagoa, Governor Douye Diri praised the fishermen from Bayelsa State for their courageous act of rescuing the stranded fishermen on the Atlantic Ocean. He commended their display of the true Ijaw spirit, which encompasses care and concern for fellow brethren and humanity at large. The governor acknowledged the cordial relations between Nigeria and Sao Tome and Principe, which were underscored by the actions of the Bayelsa fishermen.
Governor Diri revealed that his administration ensured that the rescued fishermen received the necessary healthcare upon their return. The state’s commissioner for health, Dr. Pabara Igwele, played a vital role in ensuring their well-being. The governor also lauded the government of Sao Tome and Principe for displaying concern for its citizens, highlighting the value they placed on the lives of their people, even those engaged in fishing activities.
The Bayelsa governor expressed gratitude to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) for their involvement in the rescue operation. He called for increased NIMASA presence in Bayelsa and other coastal states to effectively handle similar situations in the future. Governor Diri emphasized that he received informal news of the rescue and subsequently engaged formal government systems and security agencies to verify the information before taking appropriate actions.
Governor Diri further explained that he directed the fishermen to be brought to Yenagoa, the state capital, for health checks and to facilitate contact with the Sao Tome and Principe government. He appreciated the Sao Tome and Principe head of mission in Nigeria, Pires Dos Santos Aguiar, for personally coming to receive the rescued fishermen. Aguiar expressed his gratitude to the Bayelsa State government and Nigeria as a whole for their efforts in rescuing the citizens of Sao Tome and Principe, which he believed strengthened the bilateral relations between the two countries.