By Emma Amaize
SUSPECTED sea pirates Monday attacked and robbed Itsekiri passengers of a transport boat on their way to Warri at a place, popularly called Pipeline, near Ikpokpo community in Gbaramatu kingdom, Delta state.
The attack came barely four days after an Itsekiri passenger who was travelling in a speedboat with three others was killed by sea pirates at the same location. The deceased was going to Aruton when he was killed.
Vanguard gathered that all the passengers in the boat were robbed of their property and money yesterday, and that the sea pirates claimed they robbed the passengers because they were hungry and needed money to survive since the Joint Task Force on the Niger-Delta (JTF) had destroyed their homes and businesses during the Cordon and Search operation.
It was learnt that tension was already building among Ijaw and Itsekiri communities in the area following the regular attacks lately on Itsekiri persons by pirates.
The chairman and spokesman of the Tebu-Biri Youths Federated, Mr. Mike Itima and Nanakuno Boi respectively denied that the pirates were Ijaws when they spoke to Vanguard, saying the youth group was investigating the incident.
A source, however, told Vanguard, â€œIt is a serious matter, most of the boys have turned to sea pirates, it is not easy to pass the Pipeline area now without dropping money for those boys, otherwise, they will attack you, and something should be done urgently to save the people from these piratesâ€.