Gunmen believed to be sea pirates have bombed the residence of a community leader in Egrangbene, Burutu Local Government Area of Delta state.
The suspected pirates have also overran over eight Delta Communities in Burutu and Bomadi Local Government Areas of the state.
BIGPEN Online was told that the gunmen have been terrorizing the area for the past one month.
Sources said that the attack was to cow the communities who have been reportedly resisting their nefarious activities within the area.
“The activities of the seapirates who patrol the creeks of Egragbene through the Ramos river on daily basis has caused serious tension within the area”, a resident who craved anonymity said.
Local sources said that the community leader whose identity could not be immediately known and his family were not at home when the gun wielders stormed the area.
It was not clear what led to the siege but source said the each time they suspected sea pirate came they shoot sporadically to wage out intruders.
The source said that on Monday night they came and bombed the chairman’s house with a dynamite in Egrangbene.
They also allegedly raped women, kidnapped, kill and robbed the villagers at gunpoints, another resident who pleaded anonymity disclosed.
The Community under siege, according to the source are, Egragbene, Ikogbene, Orugbene, Abediama, Ekumugbene, Ebieregbene, Kalafiogbene and Agoro -Delta Communities.
Others include Ogriagbene, Enekorogha, Ndoro and other Communities within the Ramos River, between Delta and Bayelsa state.
The source disclosed that commercial activities including farming have been grounded completely in the areas.
“As we speak, many of the residents are still missing. Commercial activities within the areas have been locked down following the activities of the seapirates.
“As we speak to you now, no commercial boats, no fishing activities, no farming or tapping as all the people are afraid of being kidnapped or killed or the women being raped by the Seapirates.
“We have made several attempts to the Government through the Local Government Area Chairmen and appeal to the Joint TaskForce, JTF, Army, Navy to come to our rescue but all to no avail as we speak.
“We are seriously appealing to the Government and particularly the Military to hear our cry as we are being maimed. Our women raped, properties stolen on gunpoints and loss of lives recorded in those areas.
“The delay of Government to reach us with the request has made life extremely difficult for the people.
“These hoodlums patrol on daily basis in the creeks of Egragbene and through the Ramos river. Except the law enforcement come to our aid, our present and future living in those areas is doomed.
“We believe the Government of the day under the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari is capable of curtailing these highly trained and unscrupulous gunmen in the once peaceful Ramos River and its environs in the Niger Delta area particularly in Burutu and Bomadi Local Government Areas. So, we appeal”.
The Delta State Commissioner of Police, CP Adeyinka Adeleke confirmed the report in a telephone conversation on the matter.
He said,”We are trying to stern that assault by the bandits on the people of that area. You know it is not easy on water. I learnt that they (bandits) wants easy access through the communities but the villagers won’t allow them.”
The Burutu Council Chairman, Hon. Godknows Angele also confirmed the report.
He said,”I had a call over the development from Ekogbene where seapirates have laid siege in the Communities particularly Ekogbene, Egrangbene, Ndoro and other Communities.
“I will send a delegation to Ekogbene to assess the level of damage caused by the bombing of the Community Chairman’s residence over the Community’s resistance of the evil.”