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Again Gunmen Attack Bille Boat, Kill Passenger …As Military Withdraw Escort

The people of Bille kingdom in Degema local government area of Rivers State have raised alarm over another attack on a Bille-bound passenger boat by men dressed in military uniform.

The Chairman of Bille Kingdom Chiefs in council Alabo Benett Okpokiye-Dukubo who read a statement on behalf of the kingdom during a media briefing said one person was killed and two others fatally wounded during the attack.

Alabo Okpokiye expressed the dismay of the community that the recurrent attacks on the water way, had continued despite the security arrangements made with the military to escort boats plying the endangered water route.

According to him, an arrangement was agreed between the chairman of Degema local government and the Nigerian Military to fund the fueling of the military escort boat that will always accompany the boats plying the Bille route.

He accused the chairman of the local government, Mr. Paul Philemon of refusing to homour the agreement which led to the eventual withdrawal of the soldiers of the 29th battalion Tactical Headquarters from providing security to the boats.

The Chiefs council Chairman gave the name of the dead person as Mr. Anthony Abraham Alex, while Mr. Depiriye Isaac and Oriypirite Ebi were fatally wounded in the incident.

The Bille people in the statement emphasized that the community had not offended or provoked any group and individual to warrant the repeated attacks on the route regretting that life had become unbearable within the kingdom as a result of the unprovoked attacks by unknown gunmen.

They reiterated their appeal to Governor Nyesom Wike to urgently intervene to end the attacks on the people of the kingdom, and called on relevant security agencies to assist in curbing the menace.

The people also appealed to the Rivers State House of Assembly to quickly make the findings of its committee investigating previous attacks on the route public, stressing that the kingdom had suffered monumental economic loses in the hands of the attackers.

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