No fewer than 11 persons lost their lives as a boat conveying 29 passengers capsized on Tafa River, Maun 2 in Ipokia Local Government Area of Ogun State.
Confirming the incident to SUNDAY PUNCH on Saturday, Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer , Abimbola Oyeyemi, said the boat was overloaded.
Oyeyemi said “Yes, a boat capsized. It was overloaded . The boat did not have headlamp but, travelled at night . It hit a pillar in the river. The passengers on board were coming from Badagry in Lagos to Ipokia. It was the last boat that left and all the 29 traders boarded the boat. 16 of the passengers were rescued alive, 10 died on Thursday and one later died on Friday.
“They did not have life jackets. There were marines at the site. Two persons are still missing but skipper has been arrested.”
Oyeyemi, said the Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Iliyasu had directed that the DPO should enforce that boats must have live jackets and must not carry passengers more than their capacities.
SUNDAY PUNCH gathered that the incident occurred on Wednesday night as a result of engine failure while the boat was already sailing.
An eye witness said the boat was ferrying the passengers who were residents of Ipokia and their goods from Badagry in Lagos State where they went to trade and that they were returning to Maun in Ipokia when the incident happened.
The source said 11 passengers died while 16 of them were rescued alive while others were still missing.
The remains of the deceased had been deposited at a morgue in Ipokia.
Meanwhile, Governor Ibikunle Amosun has visited the scene of the boat accident.
Amosun, who was represented by a member of House of Representatives, representing Egbado South/Ipokia Federal Constituency, Mr Adekunle Akinlade, commiserated with bereaved families while pledging that the state government would soon begin to regulate water way transport in the area and would provide life jackets for passengers.
He added that the use of life jacket would be made compulsory to ensure safety of passengers.