Following increasing insecurity on the waterways in Bayelsa State and rising cases of kidnapping of passengers, the Maritime Union of Brass Local Council Area has embarked on a warning strike.
Suspected pirates on Tuesday attacked some commercial boats and abducted four persons, including a 64-year-old chief in the creeks of Nembe and Brass local government areas of Bayelsa State.
In a statement, the union said it was putting a halt to all operations due to the activities of pirates known for kidnapping and manhandling passengers travelling to various destinations until a solution was proffered.
“This is to inform the Federal Government of Nigeria and the government of Bayelsa State that the waterways to Yenagoa and Nembe are no safer. Travellers boarding local boats/speedboats are in danger. The Maritime Union of the Brass Local Council Area has embarked on a warning strike today being 10/02/2021 in Two-Brass. No movement of all kinds of travelling by boat due to the activities of the sea pirates kidnapping and manhandling passengers travelling to various destinations.
“Let the government of Nigeria and Bayelsa State come to our aid. Nevertheless, let the government put security checkpoints at various points on the waterways from Brass to Yenagoa and Brass to Nembe.”
Meanwhile, the state police command said it had launched a manhunt for the kidnappers operating in the affected areas.
Police Public Relations Officer, Asinim Butswat, in a statement said the Commissioner of Police, Bayelsa State Command, Mike Okoli, has ordered an immediate manhunt for the kidnappers who attacked speedboats and kidnapped passengers on the Okpoma/Idioma and Nembe/Brass waterways on 9th February 2021.
According to him, a joint operation involving operatives from the Marine Police, Navy, and Joint Task Force ‘Operation Delta Safe’ are combing the creeks to rescue the kidnapped victims and apprehend the kidnappers.
“The command appeals to the good people of Bayelsa State to remain calm and volunteer useful information to enable the security agencies to fish out these hoodlums.”