2 Jul 2015

Lagos lawmakers summon LSWA officials over boat tragedy

The Lagos State House of Assembly on Thursday summoned officials of the state Waterways Authority, LSWA, following a boat tragedy that occurred in Irewe, Ojo Local Government Area of the state on Wednesday.

The tragedy led to the death of some school children while some others sustained injury.

The House resolved to summon the government officials following a motion moved by the member representing Ojo Constituency 2, Lanre Ogunyemi.

Ogunyemi called on his colleagues to act fast because incidents including boat accidents have continued without almost unabated.

The lawmaker recalled that the 14 passenger boat capsized following a reckless speed by another oncoming boat allegedly belonging to oil bunkerers.

He added that four children lost their lives in the process, but said the fatality was because the passengers failed to wear life jackets meant for safety on the waterways.

While commiserating with the families of the deceased, the Chief Whip of the House, Rotimi Abiru, urged his colleagues to call on the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LSWA), the regulatory body saddled with the responsibility of monitoring activities of waterways in the state.

Also, the Majority Leader of the House, Sanai Agunbiade, noted that the latest tragedy has brought to limelight the necessity for the House to take decisive steps towards putting a stop to the disaster.
“This particular incident has reinforced the need to use the defaulters as scapegoat.

“By doing this, we would have sent a strong signal to the operators at the waterways,” he suggested.
Another lawmaker, Gbolahan Yishawu, suggested that while calling on the operators to uphold the rules guiding operating at waterways, the sizes of the safety jackets must also be put into consideration.

He further maintained that the life jackets provided for some of the children were oversized, adding that it would have amounted to nothing even if the late children wore the jackets.

Ibrahim Layode, while differing on the emphasis of blame on the operators on the waterways, urged the House to also make a self-appraisal to determine the enforcement of the law made by the House as regards the regulation on waterways.
“The House should rise up to its responsibility; the law has been passed in this House since 2008.

“How far have we been able to ensure that the provisions of the law are complied with?” he asked.
Credit: Eromosele Ebhomele/PM News

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