16th February, 2012
The traditional ruler of Igbede community in Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State, Mr. Oluwatoyin Balogun has said that 11 bodies of those who drowned in Monday’s early morning rain in the community, have been recovered.
Balogun told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday that one body was still missing.
He said that the victims would not be buried until some traditional rites were performed by the Igbede and Ojota villages, to ensure that the spirits rest in peace.
“We have found 11 bodies, including those of school children and adults, who drowned after a storm hit their boat on Monday morning at Igbede, on their way from Ojota village.
“Since the incident, residents of both villages have expended so much money and energy on the issue. It is unfortunate because we have not had such a disaster in the 20 years since our local boats have been operating here.
“We found two bodies again this morning, making them 11 in all. We are appealing to both the Federal and State governments to give us speed boats and also construct a bridge that will connect all villages in the area together, to stop future disasters,” he said.
The head teacher of St. Mary’s Nursery and Primary School, Igbede, who refused to mention her name, told NAN that the school lost three pupils in the incident.
She attributed the mishap to the overloading of the boat “and in the process of trying to anchor in the storm, the boat capsized with the 23 people on board.
Mrs. Risikat Johnson, a mother who lost her seven-year-old son, told NAN that no amount of compensation could bring back her son.
Johnson said that she would forever remember the incident and urged the state government to take urgent measures to prevent a recurrence.
“I am particularly sad because I lost my last child, the only child I had for my ex-husband. No amount of money can restore my happiness,” she added amidst sobs.