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Pirates attack Akwa Ibom fishermen, steal 50 outboard engines

By Inemesit Akpan-Nsoh, Uyo
15 November 2021   |   4:06 am
Gunmen, suspected to be sea pirates, weekend, attacked a fishing community in Akwa Ibom State, injuring many.

Gunmen, suspected to be sea pirates, weekend, attacked a fishing community in Akwa Ibom State, injuring many.

It was gathered that more than 10 Yamaha engines and 40 horsepower outboard engines were snatched at gunpoint during the operation, which occurred in the Utanwa area of Ikot Abasi Local Council of the state.

The fishermen, it was gathered, had suffered consistent attacks and abduction of their members in the past one year.

Infuriated by the attacks, the fishermen, under the auspices of Watchout Cooperative Society, Ibaka, recently staged a protest match and called on President Muhammadu Buhari, to secure waterways.

Following the weekend attack, the Nigerian Navy and the police attached to Mbo Council, in a joint operation, arrested two suspects and recovered four outboard engines and firearms hidden underground.

A source, who spoke in confidence, claimed yesterday, the weekend, attack occurred when militants stormed the high sea in a speedboat with double 200 horsepower engines and dispossessed victims of their belongings.

The source said: “More than 10 Yamaha, 40 horsepower outboard engines were snatched at gunpoint from fishermen in the Itanwa axis of Ikot Abasi Council of the state today (Saturday).

“Some fishermen were brutalised while others sustained injuries. They (the pirates) came in a speed boat with double 200 horsepower engines.”

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Odiko Macdon, said the command was yet to be informed about the incident in Ikot Abasi, and promised to find out what happened.

“I am not aware of that information yet, but I will investigate it,” he said.