Gunmen suspected to be sea pirates have hijacked a passenger boat along the waterways of Namasibi, New Calabar Rivers, Degema Local Government Area, Rivers State.
The boat was reportedly sailing from Port Harcourt to Ke Clan in Degema when the gunmen attacked it at about 4pm on Wednesday.
The bandits were said to have compelled the passengers to jump into the river and later abducted some persons, who lacked swimming skills.
A source, who spoke in confidence said the whereabouts of most passengers of the ill-fated boat remained unknown.
He said: “Gunmen suspected to be sea pirates hijacked a passenger boat traveling from Port Harcourt to Ke Town in Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State.
“The whereabouts of the occupants of that boat are not known. The driver of the boat and some others, who could swim escaped. A nursing mother and some others, who could not swim were taken away by the hoodlums”.
Relieving his ordeal, the driver of the hijacked boat, Tamunoiminabo Aginah, said he escaped the pursuit of the sea pirates while heading for Port Harcourt but was not fortunate on his way back.
He said: “In the morning when we were driving to Port Harcourt, the sea pirates chased us, but they couldn’t get to us.
“On Our way back to Ke from Port Harcourt as we approached Namasibi, New Calabar River, the sea pirates appeared in full speed and a superior engine boat and we couldn’t escape them.
“They ordered us to jump into the river. Those that could swim did as they commanded while they drove away with those that didn’t jump into the river to unknown destination together with our boat.”
He said that those, who jumped into the river were rescued by fishermen and local divers.
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Nnamdi Omoni, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, said he had yet to get official report of the incident.