February 11, 2021

Sea pirates’ attacks: Commuters stranded as boat drivers down tools in Bayelsa 


…Suspected sea pirates attack passenger boats, abduct 64-year-old chief,  six others

…CP orders manhunt for the kidnappers

By Samuel Oyadongha & Emem Idio, Yenagoa

Fear has heightened among indigenes of the coastal area of Nembe, Brass and Akassa in Nembe and Brass Local Government Areas of Bayelsa State as suspected sea pirates terrorise commercial boats and abduction of a 64year old chief and three others.

The development, it was learned, has forced maritime workers to down tools in the troubled axis.

The State Chairman of the Nigerian Maritime Union, Comrade Ogoniba Ibingansi confirmed on the telephone that the waterways are no longer safe and all boats operating along Odioma, Akassa, Brass and Nembe are no longer loading with passengers told to stay away.

Ibingansi, who also confirmed that the security agencies including the Special Adviser on Security Matters to the Bayelsa State Government are battling on ways to counter the pirates, “the boys have taken over the water routes.”

Suspected sea pirates have been operating along the waters since last Sunday, “it is funny. They attack some boats and rob all the passengers Monday evening.

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“They abducted three persons, they attacked another boat and kidnapped four. They used the earlier boat to release the first three persons,” a source who spoke under anonymity.

It was also learned that on Monday evening, along the Yenagoa-Akassa in Brass Local Government route, a businessman was stripped naked and taken away by the heavily armed sea pirates.

The rampaging sea robbers reportedly surfaced along Odioma Creek and attacked a boat heading to Nembe around 2 pm and took Away one person. They attacked another boat heading to Brass from Nembe and abducted three persons.

Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police Bayelsa State Command, CP Mike Okoli, has ordered an immediate manhunt for the kidnappers who attacked speedboats and Kidnapped passengers on the Okpoma/Odioma and Nembe/ Brass waterways on Tuesday.

In a statement to confirm the attacked on the passenger boats, the Spokesman of the Command, SP Asinim Butswat, said the two separate incidents occurred simultaneously and six passengers were allegedly kidnapped by unknown gunmen suspected to be sea pirates.

He said: “In a joint operation, operatives from the Marine Police, Navy and Joint Task Force ‘Operation Delta Safe’ are combing the creeks to rescue the kidnapped victims and apprehend the kidnappers.

“The Command appeals to the good people of Bayelsa State to remain calm and volunteer useful information to enable the security agencies to fish out these hoodlums.”

Vanguard News Nigeria