Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa

Three persons are feared dead and two injured as sea-pirates terrorizing coastal communities invaded Ayama community in Ogbia local government area of Bayelsa State on Tuesday.

This is as the Bayelsa State Police Command has announced the arrest of suspected cultist and serial pipeline vandal Temona Boleigha Alison.

Investigations revealed that suspected sea-pirates invaded the community at about 9pm and began to shoot sporadically to ward off attempts by youths of the community to repel the invasion.

During the shooting, lasting 30 minutes, two people were hit with stray bullets, while three others were injured.

Sources say the shooting of the five persons made caused people to scamper for safety, clearing the ground for the raiders to make away with ten speed boats.

The same gang are said to have gone to Ogbia town where they kidnapped a business woman, Mrs. Augusta Apaga, and stole four 75 horse power engine boats from town’s waterfront.

Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Mr. Asinim Butswats, who confirmed the incident said a team of investigators are already on the case.

A member of the State House of Assembly representing Ogbia Constituency 2, Hon. Munalayefa Edwin Gibson, meanwhile condemned the attack in very strong terms.

He lamented a situation where criminals have a field day to shoot for 30 minutes and go away with ten speed boats without security agencies responding to distress calls.

Gibson disclosed that Ogbia local government area has been thrown into mourning, particularly in Anyama Community where three persons were feared dead and two in critical condition receiving treatment as a result of being hit by stray bullets.

While describing the separate incidents as “senseless, wicked and barbaric,” he frowned at the repeated occurrence of cases of sea piracy and abductions along coastal communities in Ogbia, noting that the manner the brigands operated suggest that there might be insider collaborators from the communities acting as spotters and sponsors.  

Meanwhile, the police said pipeline vandal Alison’s arrest was made possible due to a tip to the state’s strike force.

Alison, said to be a member of a crime syndicate, has been linked to the vandalism of several oil pipelines in different parts of the state.

Butwats, who said Alison is undergoing rigorous interrogation was arrested in possession of four hand grenades, one live cartridge, a pair of military uniform, one machete, one SIM card, and twelve wraps of substance suspected to be cocaine.