Mkpoikana Udoma 03 July 2015, Sweetcrude, Uyo – Heavily armed men suspected to be sea pirates have invaded the Nigerian Customs Service base in Oron, Akwa Ibom State, killing an officer and carting away 10 rifles.
Residents of the area who witnessed the incident, said the gunmen attacked the base at about 9pm on Monday.
The Nigerian Customs Marine Base in Akwa Ibom is located at Esin Ufot, a fishing community in Oron Local Government Area of the state.
An eye witness who gave his name as Eyo Bassey said the area has come under consistent attacks by the hoodlums.
According to him, “The so-called pirates attacked the Nigerian Customs Marine office in Oron and killed one officer, injured many and went away with 10 rifles.”
Another concerned citizen, Mr. Theodore Edak, lamented that the sea pirates were becoming more daring by the day and have been wreaking havoc in almost all the riverine communities in Akwa Ibom and Cross Rivers state.
He said the militants have raided the police station, the Nigerian Immigrations Service barracks and key fishing settlements in the area.
In his words, “The situation is becoming very critical nowadays as the militants now attack security operatives and local fishermen alike. The other day, they ransacked a police station and later they attacked an Immigrations Base.”
“From Oron waterway to Uta-Ewa in Ikot Abasi Local Government Area, sea pirates have been robbing and killing people almost on a daily basis.”
“The last time it happened here in Oron, they invaded and overpowered the Marine Police and carted away their arms while the policemen fled for their lives,” he narrated.
The eye witnesses insisted that the sea pirates were better armed than operatives of the Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Customs Service and the Nigeria Immigrations Service.
However, while speaking on the grounds of anonymity, a high ranking officer of the Nigerian Customs Service in AkwaIbom/Cross Rivers Command, who confirmed the attack to SweetCrudeReports, said investigations is ongoing.
According to him; “Yes, it is true that militants attacked the Marine Base of the Nigeria Customs Service in Oron on Monday.”
“It is also true that one Customs officer was killed and some rifles taken away by the militants,” he said.
He said the Monday attack was an isolated case, denying there had been repeated attacks in the area.