At least five traders lost their lives in a boating accident that occurred in Ugbo-Nla, Ilaje council area of Ondo State. Waffi TV received information that the victims, who had gone to purchase seafood at a local market in Ugbo-Nla, were involved in a mishap on the waterway. In response to this unfortunate incident, Ambassador Orioye Benedict, the National President of the Ondo State Fishermen Association of Nigeria, called on the state government to enforce the mandatory use of life jackets. Gbayisemore, who expressed concern about the situation, advised the government to ensure that life jackets are worn to prevent similar incidents from happening again. He emphasized the need for strict measures to be implemented to enforce the obligatory use of life jackets by waterway commuters. The President further stated that such measures would greatly enhance safety and increase the chances of survival during emergencies.
Highlighting the significance of life jackets, he mentioned that a sole survivor in the Ugbo-Nla boat mishap had the foresight to wear one before embarking on the ill-fated trip. The presence of the life jacket played a crucial role in keeping the survivor afloat until rescue arrived. This serves as a poignant reminder of the urgent necessity to enforce the use of life jackets for everyone traveling on water.
Gbayisemore urged the state government to prioritize the dredging and clearance of waterways to facilitate safe and unobstructed movement for passengers. He emphasized that well-maintained waterways enhance transportation convenience and significantly reduce the risk of accidents, thereby ensuring the safety and well-being of water commuters. Additionally, he called for the government to recognize the importance of investing in water transportation, as it can contribute to regional economic growth. Encouraging and supporting investments in water transportation infrastructure would promote safe and efficient travel for citizens.
Furthermore, he advised the state government to provide support to boat workers in order to develop a robust water transportation system. Training, resources, and necessary assistance for boat workers would enhance their skills, ensure compliance with safety protocols, and foster professionalism within the industry. This tragic incident serves as a compelling appeal to the government to enforce the mandatory use of life jackets, prioritize waterway dredging and clearance for improved passenger safety, recognize the significance of investing in water transportation, and support boat workers. By taking these actions, the government can prevent future tragedies and create a safer environment for all water commuters.