Rivers: Protest over pirates’ attacks raises dust over disappearance of gunboats deployed by government

Rivers: Protest over pirates' attacks

As sea piracy continues to rise in Niger Delta waterways, leading to deaths, dispossession of valuables and general fear in the coastal communities, youths from the Bonny Island on Thursday, took to the streets to protest against the constant attacks and killings by pirates on the Bonny waterways.

The youths numbering over 50 staged a peaceful protest in front of the Rivers State Government House, Port Harcourt, urging governor Nyesom Wike to urgently save the island from insecurity which is threatening to swallow it.

On Tuesday, January 5, a commercial boat ferrying travellers to the island was attacked by sea pirates, leaving two persons dead and many others injured.

The deceased identified as Dienye Allison and Ibifubara Mcdonald Banigo were pushed into the sea by the pirates while others were cut with machetes and their valuables stolen.

Their death had sparked a protest on the Internet with #endbonnykillings hashtag last week.

Governor Nyesom Wike had on 26th July 2019, during the launch of Operation Sting, a new security outfit that combats crime in the state announced that 8 armoured fitted gunboats, have been provided to tighten coastal security and protect the waterways from the activities of criminals.

However, few months after the outfit was launched, the gunboats disappeared from the waterways with allegations that they are only used to protect rich and politically exposed sea travellers.