From Tony John, Port Harcourt
Gunmen suspected to be sea pirates have reportedly hijacked a boat travelling from Kula to Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, with eight passengers on board.
Rivers State Chairman, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, Jonah Jumbo, confirmed the incident to reporters.
Jumbo disclosed that the passengers were kidnapped along the coastal Kula-Abonnema waterway in Rivers on Monday.
He said that out of the eight kidnapped persons, five are members of the maritime union in Kula, Akuku-Toru local government area of the state, who were on their way to Port Harcourt for a meeting.
The union’s chairman appealed to the perpetrators to release victims unconditionally and urged the state government and security agencies to intervene immediately.
Jumbo said: ‘The Kula unit and Abonnema unit of Maritime Workers Union were asked to come for a meeting in the state office here in Port Harcourt (Monday).
‘On their way from Kula, we got a complaint (report) that the officials who were coming for the meeting were kidnapped.
‘All the passengers were kidnapped, including three others in the boat. Up till now, nobody has heard anything from the kidnappers.
‘So, we are appealing to the general public, the government and security agencies to really help us and see how they can reach the kidnappers.’
State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Nnamdi Omoni, a Superintendent of Police (SP), when contacted, said he was yet to get the report.