National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, and Anambra West Local Government officials have visited Mr. Sunday Nnalue family of Mmiata Anam, Anambra West LGA, to condole with the family on the death of their sons who were involved in the Thursday, 4th January 2024 boat accident at the Mmiata banks of the River Niger.
The visit, it was gathered, is at the instance of the Anambra State Governor, Professor Chukwuma Soludo.
Onyeka, aged 12; Isreal, aged 10; and their mother, Gloria, who was rescued from the boat accident, were said to be returning from holiday when the Kogi-Anambra bound wooden boat they were traveling in rammed into a snag on the water channel and capsized.
Though earlier reports in the media indicate that few people died while more people were rescued, eyewitness accounts at the Nnalue’s family said the opposite, raising questions about the actual death figure in the incident.
Addressing the bereaved family, Mr. Nnanyelugo Ezeani, on behalf of the Southeast Zonal Cordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Mrs Ngozi Echeazu, said the visit was to ascertain the extent of loss suffered, and assured that stakeholders meeting will be convened to discuss concerns raised and find solutions, including ensuring enforcement of wearing of life-saving jacket while traveling through the water; since a stitch in time saves nine.
He expressed hope that concerns shown by government at federal, state and local levels will go a long way in giving the bereaved family the needed courage to put the incident behind and move on with life.
Contributing, the Executive Secretary, Anambra State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, Chief Paul Odenigbo, who thanked God for sparing the life of a member of the Nnalue’s family, said government will be properly briefed for possible assistance, just as proper investigations will continue to help in forestalling future occurrence.
On his part, the Transition Committee Chairman of Anambra West LGA, Mr. Felix Ikechi, who also remarked that the joint visit was for commiseration and to get first hand information from a victim and those affected by the unfortunate incident, advised that going forward; nobody travels through the waterways without wearing life-saving jacket, a measure he said will be made a policy, adding that there is need to regulate and monitor activities of those traveling and conveying people and goods through the waterways.
He, later, gave financial support to the family.
Father of the deceased, Mr. Sunday Nnalue, who narrated how he was summoned through phone calls to the accident scene where he found his wife alife and two children dead, thanked government for the concerns towards him and his family at the difficult moment.
Earlier, some family members, relatives and sympathizers who joined in receiving the delegation, including Chief Matthias Ameke and Mr. Jude Emeka, said by the visit, Governor Soludo has shown he is leading a government with human face.
They, however, called for attention to the waterways; just as it is done to the road, as well as provision of healthcare services along riverine areas.
Credit: ABS Facebook