The Ovori of Ibeshe, Oba Alani Gausu, on Wednesday blamed a lack of training and human error from boat operators for the death of 16 boat passengers who are from the Sumola Aniajogun family of Ibeshe in the Mile2 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. The Authority also arrested seven people in an open boat without wearing life jackets, who claimed to be boat drivers.
Speaking when a delegation from the Lagos Area office of the NIWA visited him in his palace yesterday, Oba Alani Gausu, urged the regulators to carry out more training for boat skippers to ensure such avoidable incidents are not repeated.
“The boat tragedy that resulted in the death of 17 boat passengers last Friday was due 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 the water. How can a boat driver load passengers on a boat, and push the boat into the water before checking if he had 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 a 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,” he added.