Gunmen suspected to be sea pirates have attacked the Bakana jetty in Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State.

The pirates during the operation carted away no fewer than seven speedboats.

The incident which occurred in the early hours of Thursday left many passengers stranded while there was panic in the area.

It was gathered that the heavily armed gunmen had stormed the jetty in a black coloured 200 horse powered speed boat, shot indiscriminately for almost half an hour, headed straight to where the boats were packed and went away with about seven boats.

It was gathered that the assailants operated unhindered as there were no security personnel present in the area.

Some of the boat operators said the armed men stole four small and three big boats with the engines in them.

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One of the boat drivers said, “Some boys came with arms into our community where we packed our boats and made away with seven of our boats with nines engines. They operated peacefully because there is no security in our community.”

The incident hindered the movement of many water travelers between Port Harcourt and Bakana in Degema Local Government Area of the state in the last 48 hours.

An indigene of the area identified as Ipalibo condemned the attack, even as he said the number of boats stolen by the hoodlums were about eleven and called security agencies to tighten security in the waterways.

“I came to sympathize with the boat drivers for the ugly incident that happened in Bakana yesterday (Wednesday). About 2am I was called that some sea pirates invaded the community, shot sporadically for almost three hours.

“By the time we came out in the morning they have made away with about eleven boats. Right now it is difficult for the boat drivers because that is the source of their livelihood.

“Also the people are suffering because there is no boat that is plying the area and take people to their destinations. We have been saying more security personnel should be deployed to the waterways so that these boat drivers can carry on their businesses peacefully,” he said.

When contacted, spokesman of the State Police Command, Nnamdi Omoni said he was yet to get the report.

Omoni, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), said,” Gunmen in Bakana? I am yet to get the report.”