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2 regain freedom after N3m ransom in Bayelsa

BY EGUFE YAFUGBORHI

YENAGOA—TWO workers of a Lagos based fisheries firm, Atlantic Shrimpers Limited, have regained freedom, after a ransom of N3 million was paid to secure their release in Bayelsa State.

The two victims were operating a fishing trawler on the River Nun axis, Akassa in Brass Local Government Area of the state, when the pirates swooped on them.

They were detained for four days, during which they were starved and torture by pirates in the mangroves of the state.
The released victims narrated their ordeals, yesterday, to  field monitors of Environmental Rights Action, returning from an inspection in Gbarain, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state.

The Captain of the trawler, who identified himself simply as Sebastian, said the pirates who spoke Ijaw dialect “were fully armed and took myself and my colleague to an unknown place in the mangrove forest for four days, without food. We were maltreated and beaten.

“After receiving the ransom from our company, they agreed to deliver us safe at Amassoma, but this was not to be. Getting around Awegbene community, they pushed us into the River and sped off. We were rescued by a woman.”

The Representative of ERA, Mr. Alagoa Morris, who assisted in conveying the stranded victims to Amasoma, said they were unkempt and tattered when they met them.

Morris lamented the increase in criminalities on the Niger Delta waterways despite cessation of militancy in the region.
“With the cessation of militancy in the Niger Delta region, do we still expect youths to engage in acts of piracy and kidnapping? Would this kind of scenario encourage genuine investment in the state? Would tourism thrive in an environments where such criminal activities are rife?” he queried.


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