Four fishermen have been abducted by unknown gunmen on Thursday in Ibaka, Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
The victims include three Ghanaians and one Nigerian. They were kidnapped just behind the Nigerian Navy FOB Base in Ibaka waterways on their way to the sea for a fishing expedition.
A lawyer representing some of the fishermen, Ogunbiyi Oluwajuwon, who disclosed this to our correspondent in Uyo on Friday, said that the criminals attacked four separate boats and made away with their outboard engines in an operation that lasted for several hours.
According to him, the kidnapers have demanded N2.5m ransom as condition for the victims’ release.
Oluwajuwon said, “On Tuesday, 28th September 2021, in the morning fishermen from Ibaka going to sea for fishing were attacked by sea pirates, just behind the Nigerian Navy FOB Base in Ibaka waterways and they operated for hours.
“They attacked four separate boats, stole their outboard engines and kidnapped four persons, among whom were three Ghanaians and one Nigerian who are currently in their custody.
“The kidnappers are demanding N2.5m before they can be released.”
Oluwajuwon, who lamented that attacks on fishermen by sea pirates was becoming a daily occurrence, said that some fishermen had stopped going to sea for fear of being kidnapped.
“Last week, more than five boats were attacked and over seven persons were kidnapped. It took the payment of N4m before they were released.
“The activities of these sea pirates have crippled the Ibaka fishing community and its environs, as fishermen could not go for fishing due to the fear of being attacked.
“In Ibeno last week, more than 10 outboard engines were seized by the sea pirates. The Akwa Ibom waterways are no longer safe,” he added.
Oluwajuwon claimed that the Police Anti-Kidnapping Unit in the state was aware of the development and that the community had also written to the DSS about the situation.
The command’s Public Relations Officer, Odiko Macdon, when contacted for comment, said that information relating to the four persons’ kidnap had not reached him.
“I don’t have any such information yet,” Macdon stated.