ODAHIEKWU OGUNDE, Yenagoa
A human rights activist and former Secretary of the Bayelsa State Chapter of the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), Comrade Morris Alagoa, has expressed concern over the alarming rise in cases of armed robbery, kidnapping and sea piracy in some parts of the state.
Morris said the rate at which fellow ‘Bayelsans’ and residents fell victims to violent crimes and robberies inside tricycles had become worrisome.
The activist, who is also the Bayelsa State Coordinator, Environmental Right Action and Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), in a statement titled, ‘That Crime Rate is Low in Bayelsa is Debatable’, noted: “The crimes of armed robbery, sea piracy and kidnapping are high in Bayelsa.
“Not long ago, some unidentified persons attacked and killed some policemen returning from burial within Ogbia Local Government Area.
“That was still fresh when a relation of mine, Engr. Mike Ogiasa, was kidnapped in the night right in his maternal hometown, Otuogidi in Ogbia.
“Only a few days ago, news filtered in that some passengers were kidnapped in the creeks.
Unexpectedly, I received a call from Okordia this afternoon and the caller asked if I heard what happened in the Kalaba community last night and my response was ‘nothing special, what happened?’
” And, I was informed the community’s paramount ruler was kidnapped yesterday right in the community. Also, the rate at which fellow Bayelsans and residents fall victims to robbery inside tricycles is worrisome too.
“Only yesterday evening, a comrade sent an SMS to me, informing me that he was a victim of tricycle robbery and he lost his phone, money and other valuables to the criminals.”
He said those were some of the happenings people were privileged to hear, noting that some were only known by victims’ families and maybe, security agencies.
He urged the government and the security agencies to rise to the challenges to rid the state of violent crimes and other criminal activities.