Connect with us

Health and Safety

“My capsized boat had 48 passengers on board, and not 85” – Operator



NIWA commiserates with Anambra over boat mishap, decries non-use of life jackets

…NEMA, military begin SAR operation to airlift trapped flood victims in Anambra***

The driver of the boat that capsized at Ogbaru in Anambra on Friday, Mr Desmond Amugo, says he had 48 passengers on board and not 85 passengers as was being reported.

Amugo made the assertion on Sunday at Atani, headquarters of Ogbaru Local Government Area while briefing government officials on the circumstances that led to the accident.

Nine passengers have been seen alive, while 20 corpses have been recovered so far from the accident. 10 of the corpses were recovered on Sunday.

The driver said the majority of the passengers he had on board were women and children trying to escape from their flooded communities.

Amaugo explained that he sailed into a heavy wave that affected the smooth operation of the boat and resulted in it hitting one of the pillars supporting the Umunnakwe/Ossomala Bridge.

He said his spirited efforts to manoeuvre away from danger were unsuccessful as he lost control of the boat before it capsized.

The driver also said some of the women had besieged his house very early on Friday and persuaded him to ferry them to Ogbakuba, another location that was not submerged by flood.

Family members who identified some of the corpses were seen lamenting their losses.

One of them, Mr Bernard Achonu said he lost his wife and three children aged between six years and two years.

“My wife and the children were moving to a safe place because our house was already submerged,’’ he said.

In his remarks, Chief Paul Odenigbo, Executive Secretary of Anambra State Emergency Management Agency told the newsmen that the search for more victims was still ongoing.

He said that only nine persons survived the accident even as about 20 corpses have been recovered so far.

“When this kind of accident occurs, it usually takes little time before the dead bodies start to float; we hope that once that happens, all the remaining bodies will be recovered,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, an already flooded worship place located in a primary school at Iyiowa- Odekpe collapsed on Sunday.

Chief Peter Okala, a resident told newsmen that many buildings in the area were already submerged.

“As I speak with you, many buildings in Odekpe are covered by water including my house, the worship place and many other structures.

“The ground floors of most of the buildings are already covered by water and several people are passing through harrowing experiences.

“Let Gov. Chukwuma Soludo and the relevant Federal Government agencies come to our help because with more rains, the situation will deteriorate,’’ he said.


The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), and the Disaster Response Unit (DRU) of the Military has commenced an Aerial view operation to ascertain persons displaced or trapped by the rising floods in Anambra.

Mr Thickman Tanimu, the Zonal Coordinator of NEMA, South-East, told the newsmen on Monday in Awka, that it would aid the airlifting of trapped persons in the affected communities.

“Search and Rescue (SAR Operations) has commenced today.

The Military DRU has engaged and has started ‘Air Recce’ or Aerial view to collect imagery intelligence of the affected communities.

“This will help to ascertain displaced and trapped persons who need to be evacuated to pave the way for airlifting,” he said.

Tanimu said that the Presidency and the Director-General of NEMA, Mustapha Ahmed-Habib while commiserating with the state government and flood victims including the bereaved, approved the relief materials.

He said that the relief materials would be presented directly to flood victims on Tuesday.

“The delay in the arrival of the relief materials is due to the flood disaster that cut off the Abuja – Lokoja road and also the security situation due to the Monday sit-at-home in the South East.

“The relief material will hopefully arrive on Tuesday and be ready for delivery directly to victims.

“These items are meant to complement the efforts of Anambra State Government in providing immediate succour to victims and aid their speedy rehabilitation,” he said.



Health and Safety

GOUNI: After 18 Years, Varsity May Give Mass Burial To 33 Corpses



…Abandoned In Its Mortuary***

 Godfrey Okoye University (GOUNI), Enugu, has given families of 33 corpses abandoned in its hospital mortuary 21 days to evacuate them, failing which the corpses would be given mass burial.

Some of the corpses had been in the mortuary for more than 18 years.

Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Christian Anieke, told a news conference in Enugu on Sunday that the ultimatum, given on Nov. 13 became necessary to enable the university to renovate the mortuary.

GOUNI is owned by the Catholic Diocese of Enugu. It recently converted and upgraded one of its hospitals hosting the mortuary to serve as the varsity’s medical teaching hospital.

Anieke said the renovation and upgrading would make the mortuary a fitting one for a teaching hospital.

“We have gotten a court injunction to carry out the mass burial of the 33 abandoned corpses in our teaching hospital morgue.

“Some of the corpses have been in the mortuary for more than 18 years and it is quite challenging as we want to renovate and make the hospital a befitting one for a teaching hospital,’’ he said.

While confirming ignorance of what could be responsible for the long stay of the corpses, he opined that some probably had no relations or they were criminals.

“I am appealing to those who have corpses in the mortuary to come and remove them.

“We are talking about human beings here and not animals. Go and check if your relationship is there,’’ he admonished.

Anieke added that in Igbo tradition, families have to give a befitting burial to the deceased.

“`It is believed that if the dead is not given befitting burial it will have bad consequences on the family,’’ he said.

In his remarks, the Chief Medical Director of the teaching hospital, Prof. Cajetan Nwadinigwe, said many of the corpses did not have name tags, while about 14 of them bore the same name.

He said there were no records of dates in which some of the corpses were deposited at the mortuary, while it was evident that some had been there for more than 10 years.

“This is our basis of approaching the court and advertising the warning in newspapers for families to see,’’ Nwadinigwe said. 

Continue Reading

Health and Safety

Kidnapped UNTH Doctor Escapes From Abductors’ Den – NMA Confirms



…First crawled, then trekked a while before breaking into a run…!

Those who think educated doctors are weaklings would be shocked as the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) confirms the escape of an abducted resident doctor, Dr Orockarrah Orock attached to the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu State.

The kidnapped doctor who has now rejoined his happy family gave an account of how he first crawled like an agile soldier, before trekking miles, like a Spartan, to escape and secure freedom.

The Maritime First learnt that Orock attached to the Anesthesia Department of the UNTH was on Saturday night kidnapped within the hospital premises, while on call duty.

The Chairman of NMA, Enugu State Chapter, Dr. Celestine Ugwoke, who gave the confirmation to newsmen in Enugu on Monday, stressed that Orock miraculously made his escape after the kidnappers felt satisfied with the agreement by his wife to pay the ransom demanded,  decided to go and have a “nice time with their weeds and spirits and fell into a deep sleep”

Chairman of NMA, Enugu State Chapter, Dr Celestine Ugwoke

The abducted doctor thereafter, “”gradually crawled away from the spot he was kept in the kidnappers’ den and later trekked and ran a distance before sighting human activities”, before finally coming out, near the Four Corner Junction of Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway.

“He called his wife and the wife called the UNTH chief security officer that picked him up that midnight of Saturday. We are profoundly grateful to God for his miraculous escape,” he said.

The chairman, however, said that doctors had become endangered professionals in the state, as kidnappers always target them especially those working in tertiary health institutions in the state.

“We are really in trouble as doctors are now their target and we are living in fear as the kidnappers now chase us as if they are chasing rats,” he said.

The chairman said that any more abduction of any doctor in UNTH again, doctors in the teaching hospital would totally down tools adding that this warning would be extended to other tertiary hospitals in the state.

Ugwoke said that the association would be meeting with the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of UNTH to mandate to release of security protocol for the hospital, to ensure the safety of all doctors, management staff, staff, and patients in the hospital.

“We also want the hospital management to beef up security within the hospital, ensure adequate perimeter fencing of the entire hospital, and installation of Close Circuit Television Camera (CCTV) and its monitoring base within the hospital.

“As an association, we have previously met the state’s Commissioner for Health and the Commissioner of Police on the spate of insecurity our members face even in the discharge of their life-saving professional duties.

“All efforts through official letters and other means to pay a courtesy call on Gov. Peter Mbah and intimate him on the vital issue of doctors’ security in the state had proved abortive.

“Maybe, the government wants doctors to leave their duty posts and carry placards to the Enugu Government House before listening to us. This will be very bad if allowed to drag to this point,” he said.

Efforts made to get the Spokesperson for Enugu State Police Command, DSP Daniel Ndukwe, to speak on the matter proved abortive as he did not pick up several calls made to his cellphone.

Continue Reading

Health and Safety

Lagos Rallies Volunteer Groups On Environmental Conservation



Sanwo-Olu tasks MSMEs on digitalisation to harness AfCFTA benefits

The Lagos State Government rallied environmental groups to collaborate with it and explore innovative solutions to achieve environmental conservation.

 The Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental Services, Gaji Omobolaji during a workshop for Coalition of Lagos Environmental Group (COLEG) at LCCI Building, Ikeja,  said the objective of the workshop is a commitment to the protection and preservation of the environment.  

Gaji, represented by the Deputy Director of Sanitation, Mr. Jide Adeoye said the Coalition of Lagos Environmental Volunteer Group (COLEG) is a coalition of Non-Governmental Organisations that offer non-profit voluntary services and intervention exercises across the State.

He mentioned that the group was created by the Ministry as an umbrella body to coordinate and regulate the activities of the group to check abuses as well as to ensure interventions carried out by the group are guided and focused to achieve maximum environmental gains.

“Consequently, this technical workshop will focus on training environmental NGOs registered as COLEG; cover expectations of the Ministry for the groups which includes proper processes for carrying out environmental interventions in the State as well as compliance with rules and regulations”, he said.

The Permanent Secretary said the duty of non-governmental organisations in the field of environmental conservation is truly invaluable, each playing a vital role in the collective effort to address various environmental challenges, adding that they are the driving force to provide innovative solutions, public awareness, and advocacy for achieving a sustainable future.

LASG Announces Traffic Diversion At Second Rainbow

*Sanwo-Olu, Executive Governor, Lagos State

He highlighted the environmental challenges faced in the state to include improper solid waste management, littering of public places, inadequate waste sorting and removal of recyclables leading to littering of the environment with PET containers as well as the impact of climate change and pollution, saying “All these are responsible for reducing the aesthetic and tourism potentials of Lagos State”.

The Permanent Secretary also gave the assurance of the government’s support, stressing that the present administration recognises the significance of NGOs in shaping environmental policy, implementing initiatives, and being the voices of conscience for the planet.

In a lecture, titled: “Process and Procedure for Environmental Interventions and Compliance with Lagos State, Rules and Regulations”, the Guest Lecture, Mr. Olasunkanmi Sojinu pointed out all areas where the NGOs can effectively partner with the Government, adding that the NGOs need to be a voice for the Environment.

He charged the NGOs and others, on the need to stop provoking the earth, adding that most waste can be used as raw materials for other products.  

Continue Reading

Editor’s Pick