- Group laments attacks on Ogbia communities
Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Maritime Union is drawing attention to the incessant attacks on Bayelsa waterways by suspected sea pirates.
Chairman of the Union Mr. Lloyd Sese stated this on Thursday in Yenagoa in his reaction to the shooting of a pregnant woman and two other passengers by sea pirates along the Southern Ijaw waterways.
He said raiders have blocked Akassa and Brass waterways making it difficult for people to travel.
Sese, who disclosed that the injured passengers, including the woman identified as Gulu Leghemo, who had been attacked on their way from Koulama to Yenagoa, have been taken to the hospital for treatment, said the gunmen went away with a 200 horse power engine belonging to Sunday Leghemo and valuables of the passengers.
Meanwhile a group, One Hope Volunteers, has condemned in strong terms the attack on upland and coastal Ogbia communities by armed gunmen.
Director-General of the group Mr. Jokori Macaulay in a press statement titled ‘One Attack Too Many’ in reaction to the attack in Anyama community which left three people dead, said the continued attack on Ogbia communities is unacceptable.
Macaulay, addressing a cross section of members of the organization at an interactive meeting in Yenagoa, lamented that Ogbia communities in the last four months have been attacked by armed men who have killed people and carted away speed boats.
“In less than four months, close to a dozen Ogbia communities have come under heavy gun attacks, leaving a couple of unarmed people dead and several others with bullet injuries. From Opume to Oloibiri and Okoroba, Ogbia town to Idema and very recently Anyama community, these attacks are a wake-up call on Ogbia people and Bayelsa state. We should put aside personal interests and political differences and rise up in unity to enthrone lasting peace and security in the state. Peace and security are indivisible, so we should all search for solutions to these unprovoked, unwholesome and unwarranted attacks. This solution rests on all citizens of Ogbia Kingdom. The political class in Ogbia and leadership of sociopolitical organisations should summon the will and determination to expose criminal elements around their communities and partner with security agencies to halt the spate of attacks before it is too late,” Macaulay stated.
Police Public Relations Officer Asinim Butswat has, however, appealed for calm, noting that the state Police Command is on top of the situation in Ogbia.
According to him, the Bayelsa Police Command has activated tactical teams and alerted other agencies for possible arrests of the perpetrators.
These happenings come against the backdrop of former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai having recently declared Bayelsa one of the safest states in the region.