By Henry Umahi


• Kinsmen of drowned cadet officer protesting in Umuahia


Last week, the goddesses of rivers in Nigeria were hungry and angry. So, they spread their dragnets and went on rampage. They unleashed sorrow, tears and agony in many families.

On April 12, the police public relations officer in Lagos State,  Benjamin Hundeyin, a superintendent of police, confirmed that seven persons drowned at different swimming pools and beach in the state within six days.

• Gov. Mutfwang


He disclosed: “This week alone, seven people drowned in hotel swimming pools and beaches. Two drowned in one hotel in Mushin and one in a hotel on Lagos Island.

“One also drowned at Ibeshe Island, two fell into Third Mainland Bridge in an accident and one in a hotel in Shasha.”

According to him, the deaths were avoidable if all the necessary safety measures were put in place and observed. He advised hotel operators in particular, to employ lifeguards and display lifeguard off duty signs when necessary at their facilities.

The image-maker also advised visitors to hotels to always read instructions on facilities, particularly swimming pools, so as to avoid any fatality.


• Junior Pope

Similarly, the Anam River in Anambra State raged last week. On April 10, a popular Nollywood actor, Junior Pope and four others were confirmed dead in a boat tragedy. The boat, one of the two that conveyed a movie crew to a film location in Anambra West Local Government Area of the state, was returning to its takeoff point in Asaba, Delta State when the unfortunate accident occurred.

This prompted the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) to ban its members from all film productions involving riverine areas and boat rides.

Police public relations officer in Anambra State, Tochukwu Ikenga, a superintendent of police, on April 12 said the marine police of the state command had recovered the bodies.

• Onu

Related News


He said: “Two of the bodies were recovered on Thursday, April 11, 2024, while the last was washed in by the tide this morning.

“All the bodies have been deposited in the hospital mortuary in Asaba while the President of the Guild of Actors and Actresses has been notified of the recovery.

“The CP promised an expedited investigation into the sad accident that claimed the lives of five actors. He also commended the command’s  marine unit and its commander for dedication to duty.”

On April 9, a Nigerian Air Force Tarmac Four cadet, Emmanuel Onyemereche, died in a popular hotel’s swimming pool in Umuahia, the capital of Abia State. A source said the victim had come to the facility with friends and decided to swim at the pool when the incident happened.

Police public relations officer in the state, Maureen Chinaka, an assistant superintendent of police, said on April 12 that “the attention of CPS was called to it, and investigation is ongoing.”

Meanwhile, last Tuesday, the Okwuta- Ibeku kinsmen of the Air Force cadet, who allegedly drowned in a swimming pool of a hotel, protested in Umuahia and demanded justice for their deceased son.

Dressed in black attires, the protesters sang heart-wrenching  songs and carried placards, calling for justice and urging government to fish out the culprits.

Another twist was added to the development when about four military personnel reportedly  stormed the Royal Damgrete Hotel, Umuahia, Abia State, where the cadet officer died, killed a staff and injured three others.

It was gathered that the military personnel gave four staff of the hotel the beatings of their life, resulting in the slumping and eventual death of one of the staff, James Etubi.

Confirming the incident, the spokesperson of the command, Maureen Chinaka, said on April 12, the CPS, Umuahia received a report from the director of the hotel, narrating the incident. Chinaka said the body of the deceased has been deposited at the hospital’s mortuary and undergoing autopsy as investigation begins.

On April 11, Nigeria lost one of its finest politicians, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu at 72. He was a former governor of Old Abia State and ex-minister of science, technology and innovation.

Onu was known for his refined politics. He was an advocate of politics without bitterness. His motto was: Live and let live.

Ten persons were killed in fresh attacks in two communities in Bokkos Local Government Area of Plateau State on April 12. Mandung-Mushu and Kopnanle  came under attacks, which claimed no fewer than 10 lives.

The Chairman, Bokkos Cultural Development Council, BCDC Vanguard,  Farmasum Fuddang, a lawyer, confirmed the incident as Governor Caleb Mutfwang condemned it and asked security personnel to go after the perpetrators.

In a statement issued in Jos last Saturday night, Fuddang said: “Last night, April 12, our community in the Bokkos Local Government Area of Plateau State faced horrific attacks resulting in the senseless slaughter of at least 10 of our members. Despite the presence of security forces, including the DSS, Army, and Police, the perpetrators were allowed to carry out their heinous acts with impunity.

“Under the cover of darkness, more than 50 armed terrorists descended upon the villages of Mandung-Mushu and Kopnanle, targeting innocent, unarmed and peaceful residents as they slept. The assailants set fire to homes and a place of worship, mercilessly gunning down fleeing civilians while nearby soldiers failed to intervene effectively. These brazen attacks, which predominantly targeted children, appear to be part of a calculated effort to instill fear and perpetrate further displacement within our communities.

“We condemn this act of terror, which we believe is aligned with a broader agenda to impose sharia law and seize control of our lands. Just hours before this tragedy unfolded, BCDC Vanguard submitted a petition to the Department of State Services (DSS), challenging a leaked memo that falsely accused our people of planning violence against Fulani residents. We unequivocally stated that the intelligence behind the memo was fabricated and defamatory.

“Despite our efforts to rectify these falsehoods, the security apparatus failed to protect our community from the very threats we highlighted. The DSS ignored these warnings and instead chose to implicate the victims. We are appalled by the apparent prioritization of the lives of Fulani residents over our own and demand answers from the authorities.

The timing of these attacks, following closely on the heels of the DSS’s erroneous warning of an impending assault on Fulani communities, raises serious concerns about collusion or deliberate neglect…”

Meanwhile,  Mutfwang according to a statement by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Gyang Bere, condemned in strong terms, the renewed deadly attacks, describing the incident as “unfortunate and unacceptable, especially now that the government is diligently working to restore peace and security; and facilitate the return of displaced persons to their homes.”

Governor Mutfwang warned perpetrators of the dastardly acts to desist forthwith as the government is determined to fish them out to face justice; expressed deep sympathy to the bereaved families and the affected communities and prayed for quick healing to those who sustained gunshot injuries.