Following the kidnap of no fewer than eight persons along the Brass/Nembe waterway in Bayelsa State, the state Commissioner of Police Mike Okoli has ordered a manhunt for the kidnappers.
Three of the eight victims kidnapped on Tuesday have been identified as one Chief Walter, from Odioma Kingdom on the Atlantic Coast, who was abducted around Dasaba, a fishing port in the area, Inerikuma Moses, who was kidnapped along Okpoama Creek, and Alabo Gandi Elei, who was abducted on his way to Nembe.
Meanwhile, there is growing apprehension along the waterways with the state chapter of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria downing tools to drive home their calls for improved security on the creeks.
Kidnap for ransom has become a lucrative business for hoodlums who operate in speedboats along the numerous rivers, streams and creeks in the state, and apprehending the perpetrators has so far appeared difficult.
“Two separate incidents occurred simultaneously and six passengers were allegedly kidnapped by unknown gunmen suspected to be sea pirates,” said a statement by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Asinim Butswat on Wednesday.
Butswat said a joint operation is ongoing in the creeks among Marine Police, Nigerian Navy and the Joint Task Force (JTF) Operation Delta Safe in a bid to rescue the victims and arrest the kidnappers.
“In a joint operation, 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 fish out these hoodlums,” the statement said.