As the gunboat donated by Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike arrived Bonny Island today and handed over to security operatives to enhance their surveillance capabilities on the Bonny-Port Harcourt sea route, Chairman of Bonny Local Government Council, David Irimagha says it was the first step in curbing the menace of sea piracy.
The Bonny-Port Harcourt sea route has been bedevilled by the activities of daredevil sea pirates who main, rape, and kill passengers who fall victim to them at will.
In several cases they have shot their victims at short range, pushed them into the chilling waters to drown or rape the women in front of their fellow passengers and cart away their valuables, sometimes taking the boat and its contents along with them.
But that may soon be a thing of the past with the gunboat now in the kitty of the security agencies operating in the area, which have been hampered by lack of equipment to confront the hoodlums.
Irimagha, who was accompanied by his Vice, Anengi Barasua, in the gunboat that brought them from Port Harcourt, thanked Governor Wike for responding to the appeal of the people of the area by donating the gunboat to aid the security operatives perform better in tackling the menace of sea piracy.
First of all, I will like to thank His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Rivers State to have deemed it fit to hearken to our cries.”
He assured that though “it has not been an easy ride at all. The attack from the pirates is getting to something else,” with the gunboat is here now. It will help in checkmating our waterways and ensure that passengers are secured to their destination by the grace of God”.
The Bonny LG chief executive urged “all citizens to give their cooperation,” appealing to passengers and other sea farers along the Bonny-Port Harcourt sea route to be “patient with us. Be patient with the security people. We plan to take the security issue to zero. We need your cooperation”.
Prior to this there have been outcry over the incessant attacks by sea pirates which almost became a daily occurrence. Across social media platforms, youths of the community have already been mobilizing for a protest to shut down the town and every means of transportation in and out of the island.
The Bonny River remains the most critical aspect of the Gulf of Guinea corridor with every aspect of the security architecture in the corridor resident in Bonny, making the recurrence of the sea piracy attacks a curious phenomenon.