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Outrage in Bayelsa

Posted by From FEMI FLARANMI, Yenagoa on 2008/03/14 | Views: 549 |

Outrage in Bayelsa


Seething anger has enveloped Famgbe community in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State over the ferryboat accident that claimed at least 10 lives, with six still missing.

•Ferryboat accident which claimed 10 lives causes uproar

Seething anger has enveloped Famgbe community in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State over the ferryboat accident that claimed at least 10 lives, with six still missing.

The ferryboat from Yenagoa waterside was on its way to Famgbe when a naval gunboat escorting a house boat rammed into it, pushing all the passengers into the water.

Now the people are furious and demanding a probe and possible recommendation to curb over speeding by military boats.

An eyewitness, Mr. Joel Nathan, said the accident was caused by the irresponsible driving of the naval gun boat.
He narrates what he saw: “On the fateful day, I saw the naval gun boat escorting a house boat. But instead of going along the Yenagoa River, this naval boat made a diversion into the Epie Creek with full speed. It came out of the Epie Creek, moved into the Yenagoa River and suddenly turned back with full speed. We were surprised to see that the naval boat rammed into the ferryboat that was just entering the Yenagoa River from the Epie Creek, hitting it from the front and it sank instantly. We saw just three persons that managed to swim to safety, while the other 16 passengers drowned. Up till this moment, some corpses are being expected to float from the bed of the River. It is just unfortunate that those who suffer propeller cut around might never float.”

Mr. Arthur Godwill, Ben Sorgwe, Ovie Captain and Meya Atakpiri corroborate Nathan’s story and demanded a probe into the accident.

According to them, it was curious that only one boat out of the six that were escorting the house boat was on top speed and caused the accident. They appealed to the Bayelsa State government to make efforts to stop the incessant speeding of boats belonging to government agencies and the military.
They called on the government to help erect a “Go Slow” sign post on the waterways as a warning sign and a minimum speed limit for boat drivers.

The Civil Liberties Organization (CLO), in a statement by its Secretary, Mr. Morris Alagoa, commended Governor Timipre Sylva for commiserating with the families of the victims and taking necessary steps to compensate the families.

The CLO, however, said Sylva should match words with action, stressing that the boat driver who lost its boat and source of livelihood, should be compensated.
Not done yet, the CLO called for a probe and possible arrest of the boat driver who caused the accident to serve as deterrent to others.

The statement read in part: “It is really unacceptable that the military sent to the Niger Delta should display such recklessness. The CLO, therefore, call on the naval authorities to arrest and prosecute the offending naval officer who drove the boat like a drunken fellow at such a busy spot. The way some military personnel sent to the Niger Delta misbehave, it is like they have specific instructions to treat the people with disdain. Until we hear situations whereby erring military personnel have been disciplined, the military remains a suspect in the region.”


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Comments (3)

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Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

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Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

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Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown