Maritime Rivers

Rivers boat operators lament attacks by pirates

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Boat helmsmen and operators plying the Andoni-Bonny-Port Harcourt waterways have decried incessant attacks and kidnapping by pirates and called on the Rivers State Government to come to their aid.

The helmsmen said it was important that the government lived up to its obligations by protecting the lives and property of people in coastal communities.

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The sea transporters, who spoke on condition of anonymity, stressed the need for the government to deploy gunboats and special security patrols in the area, saying they were still in the business by the mercy of God.

“Every now and then, the pirates attack us on the sea when we are travelling with our passengers. Some of them will kidnap our passengers and make them pay ransom before releasing them. This is why most times our passengers travel with fear,” one of them said.

Another operator lamented insecurity along the waterways and solicited the intervention of the government.

He stated, “What we really need is security on the sea. There should be a special security to secure water travellers. Any boat you see with security is for special people like companies and wealthy people.

“But there is no security for the majority of the people travelling by sea and that is a major challenge we are having.

“The gunboats are usually seen where they were asked to be stationed by companies, though once a while, we see them patrolling, but generally, the situation is not good at all, but we are hoping that the government will do more to provide security in the waterways in 2022.”

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