Posted by: Mike Odiegwu
There was tension along Bayelsa waterways on Saturday after pirates in separate incidents killed four policemen and kidnapped six other persons in Nembe waters, Nembe Local Government Area.
It was gathered that the gunmen also seized a gunboat belonging to the Nigeria Police in an incident that occurred at about 1.30pm on Friday.
The gunboat was said to be escorting a barge owned by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) when it came under attack.
The hoodlums, who operated on a speedboat, reportedly laid ambush for the gunboat and opened fire on the policemen.
They were said to have overpowered the policemen, killed and pushed them into the river.
It was learnt that the incident which occurred along Santa Barbara and Nembe waterways caused panic among travelers.
It was said to have delayed the movement of persons traveling to Okpoama, Brass Local Government Area, for the funeral of former Governor Tmipre Sylva‚Äôs uncle.
Most of the guests for the burial were said to have waited at Ogbia jetty till after the gunmen finished their operation.
A security source who pleaded anonymity said the hoodlums were not interested in the Agip barge and its occupants.
He, however, said three policemen and the gunboat operator were kidnapped after the gunmen hijacked the boat.
He said: ‚ÄúPolicemen escorting Agip barge were attacked on Friday. The gunboat and the policemen were all taken away. The policemen were three including the driver of the boat making them four.
‚ÄúThe barge and its occupants escaped because the gunboat was the target of the pirates. This incident happened along Santa Barbara and Nembe route at about 1.30pm. The pirates were after the gunboat and the police arms.‚Äù
In a separate incident, the source confirmed that six persons working for a company identified as Icon Xearex were abducted at Oluasiri in Nembe.
He sad the pirates attacked a boat owned by the company in the early hours of Friday and took the workers away.
According to him, the company is suspected to be an oil-servicing firm.
‚ÄúThere was another incident at Oluasiri. As a matter of fact six persons were kidnapped. They were in a boat called Icon Xeareax.
‚ÄúSix persons were abducted from the boat belonging to that company. The company is suspected to be an oil-servicing company‚Äù, he said.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Alex Akhigbe, said he was in Abuja for a programme.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Valentine Ntomchukwu, who sent a message to our correspondent said he was at meeting.