Families and relatives of the seven dead victims of a boat mishap that occurred in Epe area of Lagos State during the March 2015 general elections were compensated with N500,000 each by the management of ABSAM Memorial Foundation.
ABSAM is an acronym of the victims of the incident, including Prince Kunle Adewale, son of Epe traditional ruler and Deputy Director, Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Lagos State; Mr. Olawale Mogaji, a consultant with Lagos Eko Education Project; and Mr. Gbolahan Mogaji, a former public servant with the Lagos State Agriculture Development Authority.
Others were Mr. Muiz Bello, a former staff of Chevron and a chairmanship aspirant of Epe Local Government Council, and Mr. Shamsideen Agoro, the Personal Assistant to Mr. Muiz Bello.
They were in their mid and late 40s. The boat operator and his two sons, however, survived the mishap.
A member of the foundation, Mr. Waidi Ogunnorin, said during the presentation of the cheques to the beneficaries at the conference room of the Lagos State House of Assembly on Friday, that the foundation was established in memory of the victims, and that the efforts of the deceased should not be in vain.
“Therefore, I on behalf of the foundation, urge you to use the money judiciously for the purpose of which it was given. Efforts are on-going to make sure that this type of presentation will be a continuous exercise,” he said.
Also speaking at the event, a member of the Board of Trustees of ABSAM, Hon. Abiodun Tobun described the incident as unfortunate, adding that the victims had been destined to die the way they did.
Tobun, who is a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, revealed that a memorial park would soon be established in honour of the deceased and that they would be regarded as heroes of democracy, while advising the families to take solace in God.
Present to receive their cheques during the brief ceremony were Mrs. Taiwo Mogaji, Mrs. Mojisola Agoro and Mrs. Taiwo Kareem.
Beneficiaries that were absent included Vivian Ufoma Salau, Monsurat Olabisi Bello, Olabisi Mogaji and Adewale Yesirat Adefunke.
Mother of one of the victim, Shamsideen Agoro, Mrs. Mojisola Agoro, who spoke to journalists at the event, thanked the management of ABSAM Foundation and said that she missed her son so much.
She thanked God that her son was diligent and that he never hurt anyone before his untimely death.
“My son was loved by everyone. When he wanted to start working with Muiz Bello, I said they should tell him that my son was not an area boy and that he came from a good family.
“He was introduced to Bello by one of our relatives, who is a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC). He promised to help me with whatever I needed before his demise,” she said.
Also present at the event were some members of the foundation, including Chief Wale Mogaji, Princess Remi Adebowale, Mr. Bode Gabadin and the General Secretary of the foundation, Mrs. Yinka Ayeyemi.
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