Boat operations resume at Ijede, Ikorodu

Boat operators at the Tarzan Jetty in Ijede, a suburb of Ikorodu, have resumed work after a boat mishap which claimed seven lives on January 30 in the area.

The ill-fated boat, operated by Aki Marine, was said to be conveying 17 passengers when the incident occurred.

Boat operators at the jetty had suspended boat services following the incident, as a mark of respect to the victims. The boat, which was heading for Badore in Ajah from Ijede Town, was said to have hit a heap of sand during the trip.

Operations Manager of Aki Marine, Hakeem Balogun, told journalists in Ijede, Ikorodu on Monday that partial boat services had resumed.

“Although, other operators resumed a week after the incident, I resumed just last Monday because the incident really shook me.

“Our customers should be rest assured that our boat services to all routes, especially Ikorodu to Victoria Island, will resume before the end of April.”

“It has taken us this long to resume because we needed some time to pull ourselves together,” he said.

According to him, the incident has not diminished the number of passengers conveyed daily in the axis.

“As a matter of fact, I was warmly surprised to see three of the survivors at the jetty on the day we resumed operations.

“So, people need to understand that water transportation remains the safest means of transportation in the world.

Balogun, who added that the incident was the first in his over three decades of offering boat services, said he was shocked by the casualty figure.

“I had been contemplating pulling out of the business altogether because of the challenges; so when it happened, it was as though that was the last straw.

“It took the intervention of friends and customers to talk me out of it; and the fact that disasters still occur in the aviation industry, no matter how tightly regulated,” he said.

He assured patrons of safer waterways.

He said, “The sand dredgers have been at work since the incident occurred, evacuating the filth.

“So, it is no longer noticeable and we have been operating without any problem.”

He said families of the mishap victims would be duly compensated.

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