Junior Pope: Anambra Assembly Makes Use Of Life Jackets Mandatory On Waterways

The Anambra House of Assembly has passed a motion mandating the usage of life jackets in state waters.

This came after Mr. Ikenna Ofodeme, member representing the Ekwusigo constituency and Majority Leader, submitted a resolution in plenary on Tuesday under Matters of Urgent Public Importance.

While making his statement, Ofodeme stated that many lives had been lost as a result of passengers and boat operators failing to use life jackets.

He stated that the lack of legislation requiring the use of life jackets created a serious risk to the lives of passengers and operators of transportation on waterways

“Section 14 (2) (b) of the 1999 Constitution stipulates that the protection of life and property remain the primary purpose of government.

“The safety of citizens utilising water transportation is of paramount importance too.

“Therefore, adequate provisions and distribution of certified life jackets be made to all maritime businesses with strict enforcement mechanisms to ensure proper usage by passengers and operators alike.

“There should also be public awareness to educate citizens on the importance of wearing life jackets during water transportation and the potential consequences of non-compliance,” he said.

Mr Golden Iloh, representing Ihiala Constituency II, supported the motion, stating that such laws would avoid accidents, reduce casualties, and promote a culture of safe water travel.

Mr Noble Igwe, representing Ogbaru Constituency 1, also spoke during the debate, stating that the proposal had the potential to save the lives of both people and maritime industry operators.

The Speaker of the House, Dr. Somtochukwu Udeze, stated that the government prioritises the safety of citizens’ lives and property.

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“The state Assembly calls on the state Governor to direct the Commissioner for Transportation and other relevant agencies to compel the compulsory use of life jackets on all waterways in the state to ensure safety of lives,” he said.

The development is coming barely one month after about five persons including renowned Nollywood actor, Paul Odonwodo, popularly called Junior Pope; Abigail Frederick; Precious Oforum; and Joseph Anointing lost their lives in Anam River, Anambra State.


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