Gunmen suspected to be sea pirates today abducted four employees of Agip Oil along the waterways of southern Ijaw council area in Bayelsa State.
Agip is one of the major multinational oil producing companies engaged in offshore oil operations in the Niger Delta.
Our correspondent reported that the workers were traveling in a speedboat from Amasoma to Ogoimbiri when they were stopped and seized.
“Their speedboat was double-crossed by gun-wielding men who shot in the air to frighten them,” a security source informed our reporters.
He added: “The gunmen then took the Agip workers into another boat and zoomed off. Our river is a death trap.”
Confirming the kidnapping, Isa Ado of the joint military task force codenamed “Operation Polu” said the oil workers were seized around Osisama community. He disclosed that they were traveling without security escort.
Mr. Ado said the workers were engaged during an official operation in the area. He regretted that the Agip staff had not informed the security operatives about their travel, adding, “We would have provided [them with] an escort team to avert the incident.”
He said the JTF agents had commenced a search and rescue operation in the creeks in order to secure the release the Agip staff.
“We have started a rescue mission to secure their release and also bring the captors to book,” he said.