25 fishermen stranded at sea after gunmen attacked, seized engines in Ibaka

About 25 fishermen are stranded at Ibaka high sea, Mbo local government area of Akwa Ibom State as suspected sea pirates seized their outboard engines off the coast.

The attack came barely 24- hours after the fishermen under the auspices of WatchOut Cooperative Society in Ibaka, protested against incessant attacks and abductions of their members in the state.

The fishermen, however, called on President Muhammadu Buhari and security agencies to come to their aid and rescue them from daily attacks by the Sea pirates.

The lawyer representing some of the fishermen, Oluwajuwon Ogunbiyi who spoke with some Newsmen in Uyo on Wednesday said the people are now stranded at sea because people were afraid to go for a rescue operation for fear of being attacked.

He said, “last night around 7-pm we got a report that the Sea pirates attacked two board engines off the coast of Ibaka. Those people are stranded on the waterways. Closed to 20 Persons were in the bigger boat and the other one contained 5 people.

“No one could go there that night for a rescue operation for fear of being attacked. These fishermen are still stranded at the waterways. They seized their Outboard engines and left them there and each outboard engine cost over N2.5m and i am not even sure you will see any of these engines in Nigeria”.

He attributed the frequent attacks on the fishermen to lack of sustained patrol by Naval operatives but commended the state commissioner of police, Andrew Amiengheme for always assisting.

“The only reason these Sea pirates are attacking the fishermen is that there is no patrol,” he said.

He called on the Forward Operation Base Ibaka to intensify patrol on the waterways in order to minimize the incidence of attacks and abductions of the fishermen in the state.

However, when contacted, the Commanding Officer, Forward Operation Base, Ibaka Capt. Abu denied the allegations of lack of patrol on the waterways, saying ” I was at the sea yesterday and I only came back this morning”. Any time you come here we will tell you the efforts we have been making”.

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