Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Gunmen in the early hours of Tuesday, January 23, attacked the Marine Police Post in Ogbia town, Ogbia local government area of Bayelsa state, killing two policemen in a gun battle that lasted two hours.
The gunmen, suspected to be sea-pirates, also inflicted gun shots wounds on an Assistant Superintendent of Police, and carted away two rifles and two 200 horse-power engines belonging to the Ogbia local government council.
Investigations at Ogbia town indicated that the gunmen came in two speed boats and took the policemen stationed at the marine post unawares, firing from two different directions.
Though the policemen tried to repel the attack, they were outnumbered by the gunmen.
Sources in the community said the Bayelsa State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Asuquo Amba, in company of top police officers, visited the scene to ascertain things by himself.
In an interview, Amba, who expressed sadness over the incident, said it would not deter the police from fighting to curtail the activities of suspected sea pirates in the Niger Delta state.
“At about 0025 hours, some suspected sea-pirates came in two boats from two different directions attacked our men that were anchored at the marine base at Ogbia town in Ogbia local government area,” he said in a statement.
“Obviously there was serious a gun battle. It was not something we planned and we tried to be as defensive as possible and in the course of that we lost two policemen who were shot in action. The suspected sea-pirates made away with two of our rifles and a 200 horse power boat engine belonging to Ogbia local government council.
“The extent of firing at the scene was serious that we were able to recover a G3 magazine which the sea-prates used with 17 live ammunition and 18 expended ammunitions.
“The firing was from two directions on our men. As God would have it, prior to this time we have secured our GMPG which we believe was their target.
“The ASP that left the team was wounded and he is receiving medical attention in the hospital.
“For a while we have been able to curtail the activities of sea-pirates but it is rearing his head again. We have appealed to our sister agencies to assist us in checkmating the activities of the sea-pirates. We have intelligence reports to sabotage the efforts of the government to secure the waterways.”
The maritime union chairman, Mr. Lloyd Sese, in an interview said the state government had abandoned the waterways to criminals.
“Sea pirates operating in Ogbia came and attacked Marine Police station and killed two policemen,” he said.
“Government is doing nothing to secure the river. This is what we have been passing through every blessed day. They have been attacking our people and we have cried to government and we are tired. Upon all what we have done, nobody is listening to us. We are in a very bad situation,” he complained.