Lawyer lambasts security agents as militants attack A’Ibom fishermen again

Suspected sea pirates on Monday launched an attack on fishermen along the waterways in the Ibeno Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.

The gunmen were reported to have dispossessed them of their belongings.

This was after militants attacked fishermen on Saturday in the Itanwa area of Ikot Abasi LGA, stealing 50 engines.

Our correspondent reported that about eight fishing boats were attacked and eight Yamaha outboard engines carted away in the latest attack.

A lawyer to some of the fishermen, Ogunbiyi Oluwajuwon, while speaking to our correspondent in Uyo on Monday, blamed the incessant attacks on fishermen on the “lackadaisical attitude” of security operatives.

The lawyer lamented that the state government had not paid attention to lingering security issues in the area.

He said, “More than eight fishing boats were attacked this morning (Monday) by sea pirates in Ibeno; they carted away eight Yamaha outboard engines.

“The common fishermen are constantly at the receiving end of these dastardly acts and they continue to be left alone to bear the brunt of these attacks.

“The state government has been standing aloof on this issue and does not care about the masses. Fishermen account for more than 20 to 30 per cent of artisans in the state and fishing is their main occupation. If this is being threatened, what are you telling them to do?

“It is high time the Akwa Ibom State governor and all security agencies rose up to this challenge. It is one attack too many on the means of livelihood of the poor and vulnerable fishermen in the state.”

The state Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Ini Ememobong, said the government was doing everything in its capacity to ensure that the sea, land and air borders were secure.

He said the state was, however, limited because some security issues were on the exclusive legislative list.

“But within the capacity of logistics provision, the desire, the mobilisation of men and materials, the state government is on top of its game,” he added.

The Akwa Ibom State Police Public Relations Officer, Odiko Macdon, did not take his calls or respond to a text message sent to his phone as of press time.

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