Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has ordered a thorough investigation into the accident that involved a boat sailing from Mile 2 to Ibeshe, in which two passengers died last Friday.
The state’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, disclosed this in a statement on Monday.
Emergency authorities, including the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Lagos State Waterways Authority, had said a total of 15 bodies were found during a recovery operation conducted after the W-19 passenger fibre boat capsized.
“He is deeply saddened by the incident and commiserates with the families who lost their loved ones,” Omotoso said of Governor Sanwo-Olu.
“The police are probing what went wrong and treating the sad incident as (a) criminal (case).
“The boat, which is said to be unlicensed, obviously broke the waterways rules of “no night travel” and no overloading. Besides, not all of the passengers wore life jackets, and the boat did not take off from a government-approved jetty.”
Omotoso also hinted that the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), and others are assisting the investigators.
The commissioner warned that anyone found to have contributed in any way to the tragedy would be made to face the law in a bid to ensure a reoccurrence of such an incident was prevented.
According to him, the rules and regulations of the waterways are clear, and they must be respected in accordance with the value that the state government places on human life.
Omotoso said, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families. May The Almighty strengthen them in this difficult time.”