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Survivor Of the Boat Accident that Killed 16 People Narrates How He Survived; Blames The Accident on Greed

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Mr Moruf Kelani, a survivor of the July 29 boat mishap in which 16 people drowned on Badagry waterways, blamed the tragic incident on greed by boat operators and regulatory officials.

It was reported that the boat was carrying 19 people when it capsized at about 6:00 p.m. on July 29 while en route to Badagry.

However, Kelani said that 22 passengers were on board the ill-fated boat, including two operators (the boatman and his assistant). He said three were rescued by a small boat, the boatman and his operator swam to safety, 16 drowned, and he managed to hold on to the sinking boat until people came to his rescue.

Narrating what happened, Kelani said the boatman and his assistant were distracted because they were collecting fares from passengers.

He said: “Normally, we don’t pay fares until we get to our destination, but that day, the boatman insisted on collecting the money.

“The boatman thought that it would be difficult to collect N1,500 from passengers when they arrive Badagry instead of the normal N1200, so he started collecting the fares at the point of departure.”

Kelani said that instead of the assistant boatman to start the boat engine, he was supervising the boatman that was collecting fare until they reached the high sea without starting the engine.

“We realized that the high current was pushing the boat near the parked barge around Kirikiri, we shouted at him to start the engine.

“Alas! All efforts made by him to start the engine was in vain, the strong current pushed the boat under the parked barge at Kirikiri.

“At this critical time, two small boats were sailing along, so the passengers shouted for help and they came to rescue us.

“Unfortunately, only three passengers were able to jump into the small boats before our boat capsized,” he said.

He continued: “When the boat capsized, the boatman and his assistant swam out of the lagoon because they were experts.

“Then, out of the 17 passengers that went down after the boat mishaps, God saved me.

“The rest 16 passengers, including my friend and business partner, Benjamin Ojerinola, perished inside the deep sea due to greed of the boatman,” the survivor said.

Detailing how he survived the mishap, Kelani said: “When the boat capsized, I found myself deep down inside the lagoon, struggling to survive.

“As I was coming up from the sea struggling to survive, trying to reach the top, my hand touched the boat because the boat sank with us.

“Then, suddenly, God gave me an instinct to hold on to the boat that it will float because it was made of fiber.

“I held onto it with one of my fingers till we reached the top. I can’t see anything and I can’t swim.

“After the boat had floated out, I hang my leg around the boat and my head on somewhere on the boat for about 30 minutes with hope that before the boat gets to Liverpool jetty, a saviour will come.

“My head was outside and I was able to breath as the high current from the sea was carrying the boat from one place to other.

“The rest 16 passengers, including my friend and business partner, Benjamin Ojerinola, perished inside the deep sea due to greed of the boatman.”

He claimed that Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) officials at various jetties in the state are after the money operators or boatman pay them. He added that they are not interested in whether a boat is overloaded or if it capsizes at sea.

Kelani said that it was sad that LASWA rescuers came over two hours after the mishap when all passengers of the ill-fated boat had perished inside the lagoon.

He said: “LASWA did not rescue anybody because they came two hours after the boat had capsized to remove dead bodies of the passengers inside the lagoon.”

Kelani urged the Lagos State Government to totally overhaul and reorganize LASWA to enable the agency effectively perform its safety, standard and regulatory roles to make the state waterways safer for public transportation.

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Bandits kill Army colonel, two soldiers in Katsina

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A Nigerian Army colonel, M.Z Manu and two soldiers have been killed by bandits in Unguwar Doka Village under Faskari Local Government Area of Katsina State.

It was gathered that the bandits, armed with AK-47 rifles invaded the villages on Thursday night and started shooting indiscriminately. In the process, the gallant officer, soldiers and some civilians were killed.

The acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brig. General Benard Onyeuko, who confirmed the incident in a statement issued to journalists at the Special Army Super Camp IV Faskari, said troops of Operation Sahel Sanity responded to a distress call on September 24, 2020 that bandits attacked Unguwar Doka Village and swiftly mobilised to the area where they cleared the bandits.

During the encounter, troops neutralised 21 bandits while others escaped with gunshot into the forest as evident by the trails of blood along the criminals’ escape route.

 

The statement disclosed that the soldiers rescued three kidnapped victims, including an eight-month-old baby who had been in captivity for more than 23 days and recovered one AK-47 and three motorcycles from the fleeing hoodlums.

 

“Regrettably, resulting from the encounter with the bandits, one gallant officer and two soldiers paid the supreme sacrifice while two other soldiers were wounded in action and are currently receiving medical treatment in a military medical facility and responding positively,” said Onyeuko.

“The fearless troops have continued to pursue the bandits into the forest and dominating the general areas with aggressive fighting patrols to deny them any respite.” he added.

 

Meanwhile, the burial activities of Colonel Manu will hold today at army HQ, Zaria, Kaduna state.

 

Bandits kill Army colonel, two soldiers in Katsina

 

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Kanu Signs Up For Simba TVS

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Nigerian soccer legend, Kanu Nwankwo, was yesterday, unveiled as an ambassador for Simba TVS, distributors of Nigeria’s leading brands in the tricycle, motorcycle and power bike Sector.

 

Kanu said “I have the singular honour and privilege of endorsing and recommending their products. They are number one in their areas of business. Their quality and after sales service policy is demonstrated in their Workshops pan Nigeria”.  Simba TVS places strong emphasis on empowerment, and runs specific programs targeted at women, youths, welfare for the mechanics and rider communities.

 

Mr Mahendra Pratap,  Simba TVS – Business Head in Nigeria,  said “we are honored and humbled that, Kanu Nwankwo, is endorsing TVS King Tricycles and motorcycles, emphasizing that the two-time African player of the year embodied  their brand’s core values of Trust, Value and Service  “through his dedication to this great nation.

 

Kanu?Signs Up For?Simba?TVS

 

Group Head- Marketing -Simba Group, Mr KarthikGovindarajan, Simba’s association with Kanu Nwankwore presents one more step in the Group’s ongoing efforts at deepening their relationship with Nigerian football.

“As the official motorcycle and tricycle of the Super Eagles, Kanu’s endorsement is an inspiration in Simba TVS’s commitment to customer service and empowerment.

 

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Judicial workers to begin strike Monday

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Staff of the Federal High Court across the country have announced plans of engaging in a two-week strike from Monday September 28, 2020.

 

The judicial workers under the aegies of Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) revealed that they are engaging in the strike in line with the industrial action planned by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) over the increased prices of electricity and petroleum products.

 

The notice read;

 

“Please be informed that the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), Federal High Court chapter shall, in collaboration with the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), commences a two-week indefinite strike action from Monday the 28th day of September 2020.

“All offices shall remain closed within this period. You are required to comply.”

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