Nigeria’s insecure waterways

Ongoing concern at insecurity in Nigeria’s waterways.

Who Controls Bayelsa’s Waterways: Pirates or Gov’t?

The high level of insecu­rity on the waterways in Bayelsa State is now a source of concern to the people, as they, daily, live in fear of the unknown. Worst hit are Azuzuama axis, Koluama, Foropah, Ekeni, Brass, Nembe and Akassa, all located in differ­ent parts of the state, which are flashpoints for kidnapping, pira­cy and other criminal activities.

These vices are now a regular feature in the daily life of many people in the state, and more wor­risome is the fact that the victims no longer report to the police or other security agencies, because of the lackadaisical approach of these agencies in repelling the criminals. For the people, the fear of these criminals is the be­ginning of wisdom, especially for those plying the Yenagoa-Akassa road, which is, literally, a no-go-area.

Before the festive period, the maritime workers’ union went on strike twice for what it de­scribed as insensitivity of the state government for not pro­viding adequate security for the grassroots, especially those liv­ing in the rural areas. A victim, Mr. Sam Osaisai, narrated how he and others were robbed, bru­talised and dispossessed of all they had on them by sea pirates at the Koluama axis of Southern Ijaw River.

Commuters along the Brass waterways also had a taste of the brutality of the sea pi­rates who took control for about 24 hours, halting business activities along that axis, with the security agencies having no way of checking them.

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