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Jr Pope: Anambra Assembly orders compulsory use of life jackets on waterways

Junior Pope

Anambra House of Assembly on Tuesday, May 14 passed a motion making compulsory the use of life jackets on waterways in the Eastern state.

This followed a motion moved at plenary, on Tuesday, under Matters of Urgent Public Importance by Mr Ikenna Ofodeme, member representing Ekwusigo constituency and Majority Leader.

Ofodeme while making his submission, said that many lives had been lost due to passengers and operators of boats not using life jackets.

He said that the absence of regulations compelling the use of life jackets posed a significant 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.

The Speaker of the House, Dr Somtochukwu Udeze, said the safety of lives and property of the citizens is paramount to the government.

“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 move comes barely one month renowned Nollywood actor, Paul Odonwodo, popularly called Junior Pope and movie crew members, Abigail Frederick, Precious Oforum, and Joseph Anointing lost their lives in Anam River, Anambra State

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