Jesse Ese, Yenagoa

Sea pirates operating along the waterways of the Niger Delta have attacked a tugboat belonging to the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) last Saturday.


The miscreants which were about seven in number, were said to have kidnapped an engineer and a captain of the vessel during the attack.

According to security source, “took them to an unknown place, nobody has been able to know their whereabouts.”

The security source, who pleaded anonymity, said the incident occurred at an area known as Peter’s town in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

“The tugboat was coming from Port Harcourt in Rivers State to Brass, maybe to load petroleum product at the terminal. But suddenly, gunmen who were about seven in number double-crossed it and  boarded it.” He said.

According to the source, the boat had about six crew members at the time it was stormed by the hoodlums, while four others were dispossessed of their valuables. The captain and the engineer were reportedly captured for ransom.

It was further learnt that another gang of gunmen assaulted a passenger boat on Sunday afternoon at about 12pm.

Victims of the attack were said to be passengers returning to Akassa after a church service in Twon Brass in Brass Local Government Area of the state.

The pirates were said to have removed the engine of the boat and stolen valuables from their victims.

“The waterways of the Niger Delta especially the Bayelsa axis have remained volatile. It is no longer safe for people to travel. The security operatives especially the navy and the Joint Task Force, Operation  Pulo Shield seem clueless. They don’t know what to do.” the
source said.

The Media Coordinator, JTF, Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, when contacted, stated that he had yet to be briefed on the development.