Nigerian piracy set for election surge

Savahna Nightingale

A general election in Nigeria on 14 February is poised to bring a spike in piracy in the Gulf of Guinea as politicians seek campaign funding, say analysts.

This assessment could tally with a reported hijacking of a tanker in Ghanaian waters at the weekend.

“Pirate attacks are likely to rise before and after the forthcoming elections,” Cassie Blombaum, intelligence analyst at Guardian Global Resources, told IHS Maritime.

On Saturday 17 January, Ghana’s navy freed the tanker MT Mariam hijacked off the coast of Nigeria and arrested eight pirates, according to media reports.

Colonel Aggrey Quarshie, a military spokesman, said the Ghanaian Navy had “responded swiftly with a patrol team to the area and they were able to overpower the pirates and free the ship”, according to Reuters.

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