The Bayelsa State Police Command has confirmed the attacks on commercial boats and the kidnapping of a 64 years old Chief and five others along Okpoama/Odioma and Nembe/ Brass Local Government Area of the state.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, CP Mike Okoli, has now ordered the immediate manhunt for the suspected sea pirates who perpetrated the two separate incidents which occurred simultaneously on Tuesday.
In a statement issued and sent to ND REPORTERS on Wednesday through the Police Public Relations Officer
Bayelsa State Command, SP Asinim Butswat, Okoli said a joint operation by officers of the Marine Police, Navy and a Joint Task Force of ‘Operation Delta Safe’ are combing the creeks to rescue the kidnapped victims and apprehend the kidnappers.
The Command appealed to the good people of Bayelsa State to remain calm and volunteer useful information to enable the security agencies fish out the hoodlums.
The State Chairman of the Nigerian Maritime Union, Comrade Ogoniba Ibingansi, in a telephone chat said the waterways are no longer safe and all boats operating along Odioma, Akassa, Brass and Nembe are no longer travelling while 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, said: “the boys have taken over the water routes.”
ND REPORTERS gathered that the sea pirates have been operating along the waters since last Sunday, “it is funny. They attacked some boats and robbed 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.”
It was also gathered that on Monday evening, along the Yenagoa-Akassa in Brass Local Government route, an Igbo businessman was stripped naked and taken away by the heavily armed sea pirates.
The sea pirates were yesterday reported to have surfaced in the Odioma community and attacked a boat heading to Nembe around 2pm and took away one person.
They attacked another boat heading to Brass from Nembe and abducted three persons.