9th November 2023

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Nigeria is a friendly nation surrounded by many wonderful friends, partners and helpers that are making sure her safety, territorial integrity, progress and citizenry comfort are secured and sustained. And, one of such lovely countries Nigeria is proud to associate with is Spain.

Ambassador Sell during his remarks flanked by Commander Castillo and Rear Admiral Mamman

Following Nigeria’s independence, Spain, a reliable European ally has remained steadfast, with beneficial strides that are helping Nigeria attain its growth objectives, especially in her SDGs pursuits. The Kingdom of Spain is an exemplary and commendable friend with demonstrations that accelerates bilateral and inter-governmental ties.

Espana recognizes the position of relevance that Nigeria occupies in the region and considers her as a priority in its foreign policy promotions. With shared commitments in many sectors growth, the royal nation is also broadly considered a worthy partner to have globally, and Nigeria acknowledges and is grateful for this.

Some of the BAM TONARDO crew happily interacting with the guests

Fostering on existing collaborations by both nations, particularly on defence and security ties, and on the occasion of the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU and the visit of the Spanish Naval Vessel BAM TORNADO to Lagos, Spain’s Ambassador to Nigeria hosted Friends of Spain in Nigeria consisting of distinguished diplomats and guests from diverse spheres of the Nigerian society including the military (Nigerian Navy) personnel from the Western Naval Command, Lagos to an evening reception on board of BAM TORNADO on the 6th November, 2023..

Launched in 2011 and delivered to the Spanish Navy in July 2012, BAM TORNADO, one of Spain’s enviable war asset main mission is to contribute to maritime security through naval presence operations. In addition to its features, it is equipped with weapon systems specifically developed against threats and designed to project a special operations force wherever they are required.


Consul General Jose Ferre at the event

As part of its deployment to Nigeria and other coastal western African nations, it berthed at the Apapa-Lagos port following a routine military voyage geared towards increasing collaborations and capabilities of the navies of both countries to handle maritime security and surveillance. The 73-man crew ship comprising 11 marines and a medical doctor on board and led by Commander David Castillo Mandado held various military maritme activities with the Nigerian counterparts.

The event held under strict security ambience commenced with the singing of both national anthems, an opening remark by the Spanish Ambassador to Nigeria and an interactive session with guests among other happy moments that are complemented by a cool weather and friendly winds occasion by the evening rain.

Mr Jermaine Sanwo-Olu at the event

During his brief remarks, His Excellency, Mr Juan Ignacio Sell acknowledged the growing relationship between Nigeria and Spain and the gains achieved over the years calling for more multilateral cooperations between both country and citizenries. The ebullient Envoy noted for his invaluable cross-cutting interactions while explaining the reason for the ship deployment to Nigeria thanked the leadership of the Nigerian Navy for its continual support and productive partnership, He commended ongoing national development and greater Nigeria efforts embarked on by President Tinubu. He also used the opportunity of the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union to affirm Spain’s support for the promotions of humanity improvements, sustainable planet protection, global peace and shared posterity.

The invitees also got the chance to witness a rare sunset event of the lowering of the Spanish Flag in a solemn ceremony on board. The Spanish Nigerian Mission Team at the event included the new Consul General in Lagos, Mr Jose Ferre, a dynamic, dedicated and dutiful envoy, whose works at the Consulate General in Lagos are broadly applauded and moving the mission in Lagos forward, Ms Patricia Gomez Lancazo, a senior staff from the Embassy in Abuja, and other admirable staff of the Consulate General in Lagos.

ANIM Editor-in-Chief with world Acclaim Nigerian Drummer Aralola (ARA)

The Nigerian Naval Military host, headed by the Chief Staff Officer, Headquarters Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral JN Mamman with his team were on ground and added a resplendently and Proudly Nigerian military presence to the occasion.

Arrays of distinguished visitors also presence include:  the vivacious Ag. Consul General Dan Wilhelm of the United States Consulate General, Lagos, Consul General Ugo Boni of the Italian Consulate General in Lagos, Mr Jermaine Sanwo, Senior Special Assistant to Lagos State Governor of Diaspora & Foreign Affairs,CEO of MUSON (MUSICAL SOCIETY OF NIGERIA) Centre, Mrs Ayoola J. Jafojo and her Spouse, Mr Rufai Oseni of Arise TV, Commander Victoria (Vicky) Moore, Naval Attaché, US Embassy, Abuja, Mr Philips Akesson, Honorary Consul, Sweden Consulate General in Lagos, among others VIPs invited.

ANIM Associate Editor Ms Ogunlade with U.S. Commander Victoria Moore

Elated and very professional Commander Castillo who had great time with the guests shared some insight with the invitees on the importance of the ship voyage to some of the African coastal countries on the Gulf of Guinea and why the maritime expedition is crucial in helping to share information, bolstering defence collaborations and building capacities in the fight against any criminal acts at sea such as piracy, illegal fishing, drug peddling, terrorism and curbing other maritime crimes.

It was a time of fun, clicking of glasses, refreshments and networking.

Acclaim Nigeria International Magazine (ANIM) crew, a Friend of Spain was among the guests and covered the event.


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Written by olumide ogunlade


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