Two persons have been reportedly killed after suspected pirates attacked a passenger boat travelling in Ke community, in the Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State.
This is coming on the heels of a similar attack by gunmen dressed in the uniform of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps along the waterways in the Asari-Toru Local Government Area.
Two people were killed and five injured in that incident. Two other persons later died from the attack.
In the latest attack, it was gathered that the pirates, who were in two speed boats, intercepted the travellers, who were returning to Port Harcourt.
The hoodlums were reported to have carted away goods and personal belongings, even as they used hard objects on the passengers before fleeing.
Speaking on the incident, a member of the Ke Community Development Committee, Daibi Ekine, told journalists that travelling by water to the community has become a nightmare.
“Pirates attacked two of our community boats, took the engines and left with two boys.
“While we were crying over it, we heard that they collected another 75-horsepower engine from people living in our community.
“These attacks are rampant in our territory.
“We have been calling on the state government to send security agents to this area so that we can have peace of mind, especially on the waterways”.
Ekine said piracy had affected their livelihood, adding that boat drivers skip some days of doing business for fear of being attacked and losing their engines.
Meanwhile, the Coordinator of Partners for Peace in Rivers State, Livingstone Membere, has called for an urgent stakeholders meeting that will address rising cases of attacks on the waterways.
According to Members:
“Most of the time if there are interactions between the security agencies and these stakeholders, this situation can be checked.
“I commend the effort of the state government towards addressing insecurity in Rivers State. But the riverine communities are also part of the state and the people need to be safe while going about their daily activities”..
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Nnamdi Omoni, said he was yet to get a report of the incident as of the time of filing this report.