The people of Nembe and Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State have vowed to stand up against continued activities of suspected criminals operating along the Nembe/Brass waterways.
They also announced the setting up of a Nembe-Se Security Network (NSSN) to assist security agencies, gather and share intelligence, patrol and secure the waterways and handover identified pirates and kidnappers to the appropriate security agencies.
DAILY POST had earlier reported that suspected sea pirates abducted eight persons along the Nembe/Brass river, and later another five persons were also kidnapped.
In a communiqué issued after a stakeholders’ meeting held on Sunday evening at the Ernest Ikoli Press Centre, Yenagoa, the people issued a strong warning to pirates and kidnappers to keep-off Nembe and Brass Local Government Areas waterways or face the wrath of the law and the gods of the land, while demanding the immediate and unconditional release of the hostages in their custody.
According to the Chairman Communique Drafting Committee, Prof. Kingsley Alagoa, following the activities of those criminal elements, “we the people of Nembe and Brass have concluded that the pirates have declared war on us, and we can’t fold our hands and watch them force our people into hunger and starvation.”
The communique read in part, “We are indeed very sad as we address you today, following a meeting of stakeholders over the persistent attack and kidnapping of our people along the waterways of Brass and Nembe Local Government Areas of the state. The heightened attack and kidnapping in the past few weeks indicate a new trend in the criminal act.
“Although their motive is not yet known, it points towards economic strangulation, particularly on the people of Brass/Nembe Local Government Areas.
“The activities of these criminal elements include Waylaying of speedboats conveying travellers to Akassa, Nembe, Twon Brass, Okpoama, Odioma, Fantuo, Egwema, Nembe Creek, Okoroma, Oluasiri, Sangana, Opu-Okumbiri, Oginibiri, etc.
“When these boats are waylaid, either the outboard engine is carted away, goods were taken away, and in most cases passengers kidnapped. In some cases, women kidnapped were repeatedly raped. As we speak, five people are in the hand’s kidnappers. Eight were released last week, totalling 13 people kidnapped from January 1st to date.
“We, the people of Brass and Nembe Local Government Areas, have agreed to do the following to totally eliminate piracy and the kidnapping within our territory.
“We, however, appeal to the State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, to come to the rescue of the Nembe/Brass People. We also call on the Commander, Operation Delta Safe; the Flag Officer Central Naval Command, the State Director of State Security Service and the Commissioner of Police, Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies to support this effort aimed at bringing peace and security to the state.
“We, the stakeholders, appeal to well-meaning individuals from Nembe/Brass, the IOCs and other Nigerians to support the efforts being made to enthrone safety along the waterways.”