The Kula community, Akuku-Toru Local Government Area, Rivers, has called on government and security agencies to improve security the St. Bartholomew and Akuku-Toru waterways and the adjoining creeks.
Chief Sibia Aaron, the Chairman of Kula Community Development Committee (CDC), made the call in an interview with newsmen in Kula on Sunday.
Aaron said that the rate of sea piracy in the area was alarming and needed the state government’s intervention.
He told newsmen that insecurity on the waterways had crippled social and economic activities in the community.
“Our people can no longer travel because of the criminal activities of kidnappers and sea pirates on our route.
“They don’t just take the belongings of passengers; they also rape the women, abandon them in the mangrove and go along with the boats conveying them,” he said.
According to him, the incessant hijacking of boats by the criminals had discouraged boat operators from plying the route often.
“The owners of these boats spend a lot to purchase them and the criminals just waylay them on the route and take the vessels away from them.
“This has adversely affected marine transportation in this area and the multiplier effect is that our local trade is gone.
“People are gnashing their teeth at home because they can’t even go fishing; even the ones that take the risk of going end up having nobody to buy their catch,” he lamented.
The CDC chairman pleaded with the Rivers government and the security agencies to urgently come to the aid of the people.
“We have written letters to the state government, the state Police Command and the Joint Military Taskforce in the area to help us.
“We pray that they will come to our rescue immediately and tackle the challenge,” he said.