FILE PHOTO: Some pirates arrested by Nigerian Navy with their weapons
…Passengers sustain bullet wounds,
Boat owners cry for help from security agencies.
Fear of Voter apathy in the Coastal areas over constant pirates attacks
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Some sea pirates have attacked a commercial passenger boat along the Port Harcourt-Bonny water ways in the early hours of Sunday, February 17
Eyewitnesses who were also passengers of the affected boat narrated that the passenger boat which was on its way to Port Harcourt was ambshed by sea pirates on gunpoint shot some of them and carted away their properties.
Although there were no casualties, some of the passengers sustained injuries during the criminal operation.
They said that some of the properties carted away were later thrown into the sea.
“We just left the Peterside seashore when the pirates started giving us a hot chase. They started shooting to force our boat to stop.They forcefully removed the speedboat engine. Attempt by the boat driver to resist the removal of the Engine met with beating with butt of their guns.”
Meanwhile, past vice Chairman of Bonny Boat Owners Association, Mr.Adventure Rufus,in an interview with Correspondent in Port Harcourt regretted that the increased cases of sea pirates attack is due to insecurity on the waterways.
Mr Adventure Rufus said that the sea pirates are cashing on the very loose security situation on the waterways to frequently operate unchallenged. He called on the security agencies to improve the security on the waterways.
_”The poor security on the waterways affect our business. We travel in fear on daily basis. A boat owner may buy a boat engine worth between N2m to N3m and it is stolen by pirates.
” The passengers to travel in fear.Once pirates attack passenger boat monies, goods and other properties are stolen by pirates. We need protection “
Former the Vice Chairman of Bonny boat owners, Mr Adventure Rufus, called on the relevant security agencies to redouble their efforts to protect seafarers.
He expressed fear that that there maybe voter apathy in the Coastal areas the general elections that were shifted by a week due to insecurity.