By Samuel Oyadongha, Yenagoa
The police in Bayelsa State have arrested twelve persons suspected to be pirates allegedly involved in the attack on a marine police team along the state waterways in which two officers lost their lives.
The state command however denied the alleged loss of five service rifles to the suspected pirates during the Monday morning attack in which three other officers narrowly escaped death.
Combat ready armed policemen were on Tuesday deployed along the waterways in the wake of the killing in search of the perpetrators of the heinous act.
A security source told Vanguard that they (police) have intensified patrol of the waterways with the anti sea piracy squad combing the creek with a view to tracking down the suspected killers.
“The police have intensified patrol of the creek and the perpetrators will be apprehended and brought to justice,” he said.
Contacted, the State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Eguavoen Emokpae (ASP) confirmed the development and said those arrested are being interrogated by the police with a view to bringing the perpetrators of the heinous killing to justice.
Meanwhile the Bayelsa chapter of Civil Liberties Organization (CLO) has condemned the killing of the policemen urged the police authorities to ensure that beefing up security on the waterways does not amount to security operatives carrying out extra judicial killings.
Suspects arrested the CLO noted should be properly investigated and prosecuted in court.
The Civil Liberties Organisation through its state Secretary Comrade Alagoa Morris noted with sadness that while the state government’s special security out-fit code named Operation Famou Tamgbe is well equipped such security was not provided for in the creeks thereby leaving traders and other users of the waterways at the mercy pirates.
“Some women traders have been raped and abused severally by these criminals in the waterways, While we call on the authorities, local, state and federal government to make adequate security available for the creeks, it should also not be another avenue for such security operatives (when so set up) to turn their duty posts to gold mines, extorting from boat drivers, traders and other legitimate users of the waterways.”
“Something needs to be done fast to check the ugly trend that has made traveling in the creeks one of fear to law abiding citizens.
Both ERA and the CLO, including the Marine Transport Workers Union leadership has called for setting up real security system in the creeks, searching every suspected boats for our common good; working in good relationship with community folks and leaders for relevant information,” he said.