Pirates attack fishermen, seize outboard engines in Akwa Ibom 

3 piracy incidents reported within 20 days in Singapore Strait


Suspected sea pirates have attacked fishermen on the high Sea off the coast of Ibaka in Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, seizing their outboard engines with 25 victims stranded on the water.

The attack came almost 24-hours after the fishermen protested frequent attacks and abductions of their members in the state.

Spokesman for the fishermen, Oluwajuwon Ogunbiyi, told journalists in Uyo yesterday that the recent attack occurred on Tuesday.

He said about 25 fishermen aboard the Outboard engines were stranded at sea, because people were afraid to go for a rescue operation for fear of being attacked.

“Last night (Tuesday) around 7-pm, we got a report that the sea pirates attacked two board engines off the coast of Ibaka. Those people are stranded on the waterways. Closed to 20 Persons were in the bigger boat and another contained five people.

“No one could go there that night for a rescue operation for fear of being attacked. These fishermen are still stranded at the waterways. They seized their outboard engines and left them there and each outboard engine cost over N2.5m and l am not even sure you will see any of these engines in Nigeria,” he lamented.

He blamed the frequent attacks on the fishermen to lack of sustained patrol by Naval operatives but commended the state Commissioner of Police, Andrew Amiengheme, for providing a leeway out of the situation.

“The only reason these sea pirates are attacking the fishermen is because there is no patrol,” he said.

He, however, called on the Forward Operation Base, Ibaka to intensify patrol on the waterways in order to minimise incidence of attacks and abductions of the fishermen in the state.