Valentine Day tragedy: Agbo condoles families of victims, asks Police to investigate incident
The Igbo Etiti Local Government Caretaker Committee Chairman, Hon. Malachy Agbo, has directed the Police to conduct thorough investigation to unravel the circumstances surrounding the deaths of three young boys at a dam project site on Adada River at the boundary of Igbo Etiti and Uzouwani Local Governments in Enugu State.
The three drowned boys, Jude Okechukwu Ozodiuru, a junior secondary three student; Chizoba Amadi, a senior secondary one student, both from Aku community; and another whose identity is yet to be ascertained from Ozalla Community, were among the many fun seekers that thronged the river dam site on Valentine’s day.
Agbo, who was visibly upset at the deaths of these three promising young boys as he stood solemnly feets away from their burial spots near the dam bank, demanded to know why there were no safety measures put in place by the company handling the project, especially as they knew people usually came there to swim.
An increasingly swelling 18ft dam basin with muddy bed was suspected to have trapped the boys.
The Project Engineer, Mr Justin Ihedioha, who received the Chairman and his team when they later visited the company’s camp site, while reacting to the directive that the site be barricaded to forestall a repeat of the tragedy, explained that they normally strung safety tapes to warn people against approaching that part of the river.
He stated that people took advantage of the Valentine day that fell on Sunday when there were no workers on site to remove the warnings and access the river.
He regretted the loss of lives and said they would do all within their powers to ensure such a tragedy never repeated itself.
Agbo later went to condole two of the grieving families at Aku, promising to reach out to the third on a later date once the victim is identified.
He said he came to sympathize with the families and urged them put their faith in God as He only knew why it happened.
The Igbo-Etiti Caretaker Committee Chairman used the opportunity to urge parents to advise their wards against swimming in the river until necessary precautions were taken.
He said, 'As we pray their souls find peace with God, who would never allow such to befall you again, you would all live to ripe age to be buried by your children. You will never bury your children again'.
The families expressed appreciation to the Chairman and his entourage for buying out the time to visit them.
Among those on the entourage were some senior officials of the council, committee members, the DPO of Ogbede divisional headquarters, heads of the Immigration, Civil Defense and representatives of the DSS.
It was gathered that on that fateful day, some people had raised alarm that some of the swimmers had disappeared.
Efforts to rescue the missing swimmers led to the pulling out of one of them who, though weak and full of water, kept muttering that his friends were still trapped inside the water.
He was said to have been rushed to the hospital after some first aid where he later died.
The bodies of the other boys eventually floated two days later.
They were recovered and eventually buried at the river bank.