The Igbo Etiti Local Government Care Taker Committee Chairman, Hon. Malachy Agbo, has directed the Police to conduct thorough investigation to unravel the full 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, 16, a JSS 3 student; Chizoba Amadi of about the same age and a SSS1 student, both from Aku community, and another whose identity is yet to be ascertained from Ozalla Community, all of the local government area, were among the many fun seekers that thronged the river dam site on Valentine’s Day.
Agbo, who was visibly upset by the death of the three promising young boys as he stood solemnly a few feet away from their fresh burial spots near the dam bank, demanded to know why there was no safety measures put in place by the company handling the project, especially as they knew people usually come there to swim at the increasingly swelling 18ft dam basin that was said to be very dangerous with muddy bed that was suspected to have trapped the boys.
Justin Ihedioha, the Project Engineer, who received the Chairman and his team when they later visited the company’s camp site, while reacting to Agbo’s directive that the site be probably barricaded to forestall a repeat of the tragedy, explained they normally strung safety tapes to warn people against approaching that part of the river.
Ihedioha stated that people took advantage of the Valentine Day that fell on Sunday when they were not at work 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 nearby Aku, promising to reach out to the third on a later date once the victim is identified.
He told them he knew how much pain they felt at their sudden loss hence he came to sympathize with them.
He told them to 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 advice their wards against swimming in the river until necessary precautions were taken.
He said: “As we pray their souls found 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 burry your children again.”
They expressed their appreciation in his finding the time to visit them with all the people he had come with.
Accompanying him were some senior officials of the council, committee members, the DPO of Ogbede divisional headquarters, heads of the Immigration, Civil Defence, representative of the DSS and a few of his aids.
It could be recalled that nobody knew exactly what happened on that faithful day as there were many people said to be in the river at the time with fun seekers using tall palm trees as dive points.
It was gathered that on that day, some people at a point raised alarm that some of the swimmers, with one backing another had disappeared.
All efforts made to rescue them only led to the pulling out of one of them who though weak and full of water kept muttering 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 by the bank of the river.