Boat Disaster : ATBOWATON sympathises with Kwara State governor, families of victims

Illustrative picture of boat mishap :

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Boat Disaster : ATBOWATON sympathises with Kwara state governor, families of victims

Illustrative picture of boat mishap :

The President, Association of Tourist Boat Operators and Water Transporters of Nigeria  (ATBOWATON), Dr Gani Tarzan Balogun, has described the boat mishap in the waters in Patigi Channel of River Niger, Kwara state in which  103 passengers lost their lives as horrifying and sad.

A wooden boat conveying a wedding team, friends and families, about 103 persons, went down during a night sail, all drowned, and few bodies recovered so far.

Dr Gani Tarzan Balogun, in a condolence message to the state governor, said that the incident has once again cast a dark shadow over commercial boat services in the country, which have been accidents free in a long time due to serious monitoring and compliance ecosystem by National Inland waterways Authority( NIWA).

His words : ” We at ATBOWATON wish to condole with the families of the victims and the government of Kwara state. Though the boat does not belong to our registered body; or any operator known to us, boating is a confraternity. Our heart goes to late captain and owner too. ”

Going forward, the ATBOWATON leader informed that he would mobilise members of the association in New Bussa, Niger state, and other sister bodies to physically visit Kwara State, to evaluate the development and thereafter, visit the governor of Kwara State to share ideas on how to mitigate such incidents in the nearest future.

He added; “we shall proffer solutions, insist on obedience to extant regulations, and advise that there should be efforts to clear logs and debris out of the water ways”.

” ATBOWATON frowns at night sailing. It is not only dangerous and against the law, passengers not also wearing life jackets or poorly produced ones, endangers the lives of both passengers and the captains. So, we shall see how serious a sensitization campaign can be deployed to arrest future occurrences”, Dr Balogun emphasised.

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