From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
There is uneasy calm in Nembe, Brass and Akassa areas of Brass and Nembe Local Government Areas of Bayelsa State following coordinated attacks on commercial boats by suspected sea-pirates Tuesday evening.
While the sea-pirates that operated along Nembe- Brass route only stole from their passengers, those that staged the attack along Okpoama/ Odioma waterways abducted six people including a chief from one of the communities.
The State Chairman of the Nigerian Maritime Union, Mr Ogoniba Ibingansi who confirmed the attack on telephone said that the waterways are no longer safe and all boats operating along Odioma, Akassa, Brass and Nembe are no longer loading and passengers have been asked to turn back.
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.”
According to investigations the sea pirates have been operating along the waters for over a week without any response from security agencies including the Nigerian Navy.
“It is not funny. They attack some boats and rob all the passengers on Monday evening. They abducted three persons; they attacked another boat and kidnapped four. They used the earlier boat to release the first three persons,” Ibingasi said.
A statement from spokesman of the Bayelsa State Police Command, Mr Asinim Butswat said the
The Commissioner of Police Bayelsa State Command, Mike Okoli has ordered immediate manhunt for the kidnappers who attacked speedboats and abducted passengers on the Okpoma/Odioma and Nembe/ Brass waterways on 9th February, 2021.
“The two separate incidents occurred simultaneously and six passengers were allegedly kidnapped by unknown gunmen suspected to be sea pirates.
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 fish out these hoodlums.”