Traditional ruler blames boat operator, human error for passengers death on Lagos water


Abiola Seun The Ovori of Ibeshe, Oba Alani Gausu had blamed lack of training and human error from boat operators for the death of 17 boat passengers who are from the Sumola Aniajogun family of Ibeshe in Mike 2 area of Lagos recently.

 This is even as the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) revealed that the jetty where the ill-fated boat departed last Friday had been closed down since last year June.
Speaking when a delegation from the Lagos Area office of the NIWA visited him in his palace on Wednesday, Oba Alani Gausu urged the regulators to carry out more training for boat skippers to ensure such avoidable incidents are not repeated.
According to the Ibeshe monarch, “The boat tragedy that resulted in the death of 17 boat passengers last Friday was down to human error.“The boat driver failed to do what he ought to have done before loading passengers on the boat and pushing the boat into water.
” How can a boat driver load passengers on a boat, push the boat into the water before checking if he has the correct mixture of engine oil in the boat engine?
“Due to this error from the boat driver, the tide pushed the fully loaded boat underneath a barge and the entire passengers, including the boat driver drowned.
“It all boils down to lack of training for boat drivers. Many of them are not educated. Many of them operate under the influence of drugs.
” It is important that NIWA, Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), and other stakeholders provide training for boat skippers.
“If boat skippers are well trained, the scenario where drivers operate outside the 6:30am to 6:30pm stipulated time won’t occur.
“The ill-fated boat that sank was carrying passengers beyond it’s capacity.
“The boat was overloaded and was operating outside the time for safe navigation.
“We need more training for boat drivers to ensure incidences like this does not repeat itself.”
Condoling with the Ibeshe monarch, the Lagos Area Manager of NIWA, Engineer Sarat Braimah assured the monarch of increased patrol of the waterways to forestall future occurrence of such incidences.
In her words, “We are here to condole with you over the death of 16 members of the Ibeshe community in a boat mishaps in mile 2 area of Lagos.
“I bring you words of condolences from my Managing Director, Dr. George Moghalu over the boat mishaps that occured in Mile 2.
” Kindly accept our deepest condolences over the lives lost in the mishap.
“Going forward, we will be intensifying patrols on our waterways.
“In the area of training, we have been conducting training for boat drivers and was supposed to begin enforcement this July, but for pleas from some of our stakeholders who said some of their members couldn’t partake in the training due to various reasons, but will join very soon.
“That’s why we have not embarked on enforcement. We have been training boat skippers and drivers and we will continue training them.
“From what happened at Mile 2, we have now promised to take training of boat drivers to the riverine communities.
“The jetty that the ill-fated boat departed last Friday had been shut down since last year June till December.
” Policemen were positioned there to stop usage of that jetty. How they used the jetty illegally without being caught still baffles me.
“Now, we will be increasing patrol and taking training of boat drivers to riverine communities.”
The visit to Ibeshe town also saw the NIWA delegation also visit the Sumola Aniajogun family house, the family house of the 17 deceased boat passengers who lost their lives alongside the boat drivers.

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