Kidnappers demand ‘huge ransom’ to set 9 maritime workers free in Rivers

FILE: pirates on a waterway: demands ransom for kidnapped nine maritime workers

By Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Kidnappers of nine maritime workers in Rivers State have demanded for undisclosed ‘huge’ amount of money to set their captives free.
This is as members of Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN)  issued ultimatum to the Federal and Rivers State Governments to ensure the release of their members abducted on Kula-Abonnema-Port Harcourt waterways or they will embark on nationwide strike.
The stand of the Union was made known in Port Harcourt by the Deputy National President General of the Union, Francis Bunu while addressing Journalists.
Bunu condemned the high risks faced by operators of maritime transportation in coastal areas of Niger Delta, especially in Rivers State due to attacks by sea pirates.
He said the level of losses that recorded annually in Rivers State has become a source of national worry, especially with the recent abduction of nine boat operators in Kula waterways in Akuku-Toro Local Government Area of the state.
Bunu also wondered why the state and federal  governments are not providing enough gunboats to patrol the Rivers State waterways just as it is doing with patrol vehicles for land Transportation and demanded for urgent action.
Bunu disclosed  that the kidnappers of the their members are making outrageous financial demands as ransom from the union and family members of the abductees.
Unfortunately, Bunu stated that they do not have such amount to pay for their release and pleaded on security agencies to hasten up for their immediate freedom from their abductors.
The leaders of the Union from all branches in Rivers State and the South-South region were in attendance at the press conference.