ODAHIEKWU OGUNDE, Yenagoa
Corpses of four out of the six victims who drowned in a boat accident three days ago along the Otuan and Ayama communities of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State have been found dead.
FirstNews gathered that the boat accident, which occured on Saturday about 4:pm, was reportedly caused by bad weather, poor visibility and lack of life buoys for the passengers.
Sources from the Ayama community said the corpses of the victims, particularly the female corps member, only known as Immaculate, from Rivers State, and a 70-year-old chief from Otuan, were found floating on the river Sunday night close to the accident scene.
The State Chairman, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Comrade Ipigansi Ogoniba, however confirmed that the union and the search team were notified of the corpses of the victims floating on the river.
He, however, said the corpses of the two toddlers who were on the boat had not been found.
He stated that two other corpses had been handed over to their families for burial.
Ogoniba also said the authorities of the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) had been notified of the recovery of the corpse of Immaculate.
He said the NYSC State Coordinator had informed the agency that the corps had made arrangements for an ambulance to convey the deceased Immaculate.
Also speaking, Mr. Domo Timi, a Bayelsa-based journalist and son of a septuagenarian victim, confirmed that his father’s corpse had been deposited at the Niger Delta Teaching Hospital, (NDTH) Okolobiri.
He also said the remains of the corps member was deposited at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Yenagoa.
Meanwhile, spokesman for the Bayelsa State Police Command, Asinim Butswat denied the arrest of the driver of the ill-fated boat, Lucky Christopher.
Butswat said Christopher was invited as part of the procedures in the investigation of the accident.
“The driver was invited for questioning on the reasons he conveyed the victims during a heavy rainstorm and without life jackets,” he stated.