Women protest killings, kidnappings of fishermen by sea pirates in Akwa Ibom 

Posted by News Express | 4 October 2021 | 629 times

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Angry women drawn from the fishing communities of Ibaka in the Mbo Local Government Area have launched a mass protest, lamenting incessant killing and kidnapping of fishermen along the strait of the Gulf of Guinea region.
Under the aegis of Women in Seafoods Business (WSB), the protesters explained that their resolution to stage public protest was borne out of series of killings and kidnappings of fishermen and seizure of fishing boats, outboard engines, cash and other personal belongings.
The women took their protest to Ibaka beach, where fishing ships from Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon and other countries within the Gulf of Guinea region, were armed with placards of various inscriptions: “Our business of buying and selling seafood has been disrupted”; “We need strong security to protect our husbands”; “Save us because our breadwinners are murdered daily by sea pirates”; “Our only means of livelihood is maritime trade” and “Draft more security to our waterways.”
Madam Affiong Asuquo, from Ebughu in Mbo Local Government Area, who spoke on behalf of other protesters, recalled that “several fishermen have lost their lives to sea criminals, who are in the habit of attacking fishermen and travellers of the high sea.”
“I can’t enumerate the number of fishermen killed and their boats, outboard engines and other personal effects including cash seized over the years on the shoreline of Ibaka.
“We have been living in fear all this while because your husband can only go to the sea but you don’t know whether he would return, we can only pray for God’s protection,” she said.
She recalled that “last week Thursday, three foreign fishermen from Ghana and one of us here in Mbo, were kidnapped,” adding that “up till now, we are still waiting and praying for their safe release.”
According to her, the problem has become more worrisome as “most of these crimes are committed with security agencies including Navy operatives of the Forward Operation Base (FOB), Ibaka, appear helpless.
“Even the kidnapping of the three Ghanaians and one Nigerian fisherman happened at the back of the Navy FOB outpost in Ibaka, but without any response,” she lamented.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr Odiko Macdon, a Police Superintendent, had earlier told Newsmen that the kidnapping incident was yet to be reported at the state Command headquarters at Ikot Akpanabia, promising immediate investigation when the fact of the matter is established. (Nigerian Tribune)

Source: News Express

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