From Yenogua, Bayelsa State
As the devastating effect of the current flood continue to cause hardship and mystery, Bayelsa over the weekend recorded a serious casualty when a wooden boat conveying a family and other passengers capsized.
One of the drowned passengers indentified as Abbey from Efon Alaye, in Ekiti state, an auto mechanics based in Yenagoa, lost his life alongside other passengers, including a nursing mother and her two children along Epie creek, Akenfa community,Yenagoa local government area of the state.
The journey of less than five minutes sailing, in a twinkling of an eye, according to an eye witness account claimed the lives of the six out of the eight passengers on board of the manually operated wooden boat.
However, the Bayelsa state Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson has ordered the recovery of the bodies of the victims and as well sympathized with the bereaved families.
The Governor during his visit to the scene of the incident ordered the provision of life jackets for all the boat operators in the area, adding that the incident would have been averted, had it been the passengers put on the life jackets.
The victims, as reliably informed boarded the wooden boat because the affected community could no longer be accessed by road as a result of the recent flooding of some part of the state.
To convey the passenger across the trouble spot, the wooden boat operators charge between N5 and N10.
The ill fated boat, according to eye witness account was about to berth when the incident occurred. Two of the passengers on board swam to safety, while Abbey and remaining passengers on board got drowned.
Efforts to locate them prove abortive, as sympathizers gathered at the bank of the creek, waiting for the body of the victims to float.
Members of the Federal Road Safety Commission, Nigeria Security Civil Defence, local divers and other security operatives were sighted at the bank of creek, waiting helplessly for the time that the body of victims will float.
One of the sympathizers who spoke under condition of anonymity said Abbey supposed to have traveled to his hometown but postponed the journey till next week.
His word, ‘Abbey supposed to dedicate his newly built apartment next week. Not only this, his father’s coronation ceremony is coming up same time next week. I met him two days ago, and expressed fear over the recent flooding which has rendered hundreds of people homeless.
He told me that he is always afraid of water not knowing that the same water will claim his life. He could not wait to pack into the house that he has labored to build.
Another eye witness account stated that two of the victims were traveling to the other side of the creek in search of snake meat, disclosing that, only yesterday they bought one at a cheaper rate.
Confirming the incident, the State Police Public Relation Officer, Fidelis Odunna said three people were feard dead in a boat mishap that occurred along Epie creek in Akenfa community, Yenagoa local government area of the state.