Armed Men suspected to be Sea Pirates yesterday attacked 10 passenger boats along the Sagbatoru-Igweta-Iwoama waterway of Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa state,dispossessing passengers of valuables worth millions of naira.
During the attack by sea pirates, a 26 year old boy was nearly set ablaze for failing to hand over his Mobile handset, which he reportedly hid inside his pants to the armed men during the operations that lasted for close to one hour, according to community sources.
The incident,which happened at the week end caught most of the guests and visitors perplexed who were heading to the burial ceremony of the Mother to a one time Speech Writer to the Bayelsa Governor,Mr. Nengi Joseph Illagha in Nembe.
According to some of the victims,though the route is known for its notorious nature for Pirate attacks,the incident took a dangerous dimension with the threat by the pirates to set ablaze passengers who refused to part with their possessions.
One of the victims,Madam Efe Victory, confirmed that the armed men came in three speed boats and rounded up over Ten speed boats filled with passengers,”they diverted us towards the creeks and started searching us.They collected our phones, cash and other valuables at our disposal”.
Attempts to speak with the Police Public Relations Officer on the incident proved abortive as he was said to be engaged in series of meetings with other top police officers due to the deployment of a new commissioner tomthe state.
Meanwhile, the Bayelsa State Police Command has confirmed the deployment of the former Commissioner of Police in Enugu State, Mr. Tonye Ebitibituwa as its new Commissioner of Police in the state.
According to the Bayelsa Police Command Spokesman,Alex Akhigbe,the new Commissioner of Police,who is of Ijaw Extraction from Ondo State,has resumed office last Thursday to replace retired Commissioner,Kingsley Omire.
In a Statement from Alex Akhigbe,the new commissioner is an astitute and professional police officer,”A new CP has assumed duty in the command. He assumed duty on May 9 and the process of handing and taken over had been completed. He was the CP Enugu State before he was deployed to the state”.
The Former Commissioner of Police,Mr.Kingsley Omire was retired by the Force Headquarters after he was confirmed to be 60 years old. However, the new Commissioner is expected to face a heavy task of fighting the militancy activities which seems to be resurfacing in the waterways.
Bayelsan recently experienced shootings and killings in most parts of the riverine areas including the killing of twelve police men who were killed by some suspected ex-militants during the burial of mother of one of their former leader, Young Shall Grow in Southern Ijaw local government Area of the state.