Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Residents of Bonny, the host community of multi-billion dollars Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG, on Monday staged peaceful protest over incessant attacks by sea pirates on the waterways that connected their community to other parts of the state and the country on Monday.
During the protest, some members of the community were seen carrying photographs of mutilated bodies of some of past the victims of pirates attacks, like Kingsley Allison who was killed along the creeks at Dema Abbey Community in Bonny waterways.
The peaceful protest tagged #EndSeaPiracy took off by from the Coal Beach part of the town with the protesters marching through the streets to the King Perekule Palace, close to Ikuba Square in the Madupolo precinct of the town.
From Ikuba Square, the protesting party marched through the Mission Road and then through Hospital Road to the Secretariat of the Bonny Local Government Council.
They complained that in 2020 alone, about 13 attacks by pirates which resulted in the killing of seafarers, stealing boats and maiming of passengers were recorded on the Bonny waterways.
The protesters presented a five point demand to the Amanyanabo and natural ruler of Bonny Kingdom, His Majesty, King Edward William Dappa Pepple III, Con, Perekule XI, and the Chairman of Bonny Local Government Area, David Irimagha.
The five point demands include: Setting up and maintain security house boats and gunboats with an ambulance at strategic points along the Port Harcourt-Bonny sea route, Federal Government, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the Rivers State Government should look into the Bonny Ring Road project to aid security in the island villages in Bonny and set up community surveillance team for our sea routes.
The protest also temporarily disrupted business activities in Bonny on Monday. However, the plan of the protesters to take their protest to Government House, Port Harcourt so that they can present their grievances to Governor Nyesom Wike was shelved because of inadequate transportation plans.
Recall at the inauguration of Bonny-Bille-Nembe Jetty Governor, some days ago, Governor Wike threatened to close down the new facility if there are reported cases of hijacking or kidnapping of those using it. But the Governor failed to talk on what he will do about the insecurity on the waterways.