All may not have been heard about the boat mishap that claimed no fewer than 76 persons at the weekend in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State.
A traditionalist, Ezendu Onyensom,
who claimed to be a chief priest to the marine spirit,who spoke to our correspondent said the mishap was caused by mammy water( mermaid)
He said after the incident, ” We did some consultations with the queen( mammy water) and she told us that she was angry with government.
” We asked her why she was angry with government? She said the state government has refused to do a major road in the area that got spoilt recently. She said the bad road has made most people in the locality to travel by river to disturb her ( mammy water’s ) peace.
“She said before the road got spoilt majority of the people in the area travelled by road. She said the river is meant to be quiet for aquatic life to thrive.
“We are looking for ways to appease the queen to avoid more mishaps because she threatened that more harm would occur on that route of the river if the government refused to do the road.
Onyensom said the traditional worshippers in the area would want to get in touch with both the local and state governments to relay their message to them.
Meanwhile, the Transition Committee Chairman of the local government area, Paschal Aniegbunam,has disclosed that over 30 persons had been rescued in the mishap.
Aniegbunam, who spoke with our correspondent at Okoti Odekpe Ogbaru on Sunday said casualty figures churned out about the boat mishap were fallacious as he was not contacted for his position concerning the incident.
He said the speed boat involved in the mishap could not contain up to 50 passengers and that the incident was not as a result of the flood but a human error which occurred because the boat rider was inexperienced and unable to control the boat which he said developed electrical fault few minutes after it set sail.
He further disclosed that the boat owner who used it to ferry people was not available when passengers thronged demanding that his brother should carry them in the boat.
He said, “But fate failed them when the boat engine developed a fault and the young lad who tried effortlessly to start the engine could not control the waves which pushed the boat and it hit Osamala bridge and capsized.
” The young man driving the boat was not the main person. The guy said he was not even ready to drive the boat that day; that it is his senior brother that drives the boat.
“On that fateful day, his brother was not around and the passengers who were so large in numbers persuaded him and he decided to carry them.
“Not quite 3 minutes after they took off, the engine developed a fault and because he is not conversant with it, he tried to start the engine and there were not enough paddles for them to navigate to the ground.
“It was when he was dragging the engine to start, the current was drawing them back. It was the current that pushed the boat and it hit the already submerged Osamala bridge and capsized. It was people who were standing on the road that jumped into the water to do the rescue.
“The mishap was not a result of the flood and over 30 persons had been rescued while the search continues for about right persons.”