The News Agency of Nigeria had reported on Thursday, August 25 that four World Bank officials were reported to have drowned at Egbe Dam in Egbe Ekiti, Gbonyin local government area of Ekiti state.
The government of Ekiti has stated that the four people who lost their lives on Wednesday, August 24 at Egbe Dam in Gbonyin local government area of the state, were not World Bank officials as reported on Thursday, August 25.
On Friday, August 26, Idowu Adelusi, the chief press secretary to Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti state, said though the Third Urban Water Sector Reform Project was sponsored by the World Bank, the contract for the bathymetry surveying of the dam was awarded to Enviplan Nigeria Limited, whose staff died in the sad event.
The statement said the company was to work on Ureje, Egbe, Itapaji and Ero dams. The statement issued on Friday, August 26 reads in part:
“The sad incident happened because some safety measures were not adhered to by the deceased who refused to wear life jackets and those who survived wore life jackets provided by the company. The victims are staff of Enviplan Nigeria Limited which is a consulting firm to the World Bank.
“The victims are Alaran Tirimisiyu, Abdulwaheed Alayande, David Malu and Albert, while the survivors are Charles Ehinlaye, Bukky Ajet and Yahaya. It should be noted that no World Bank official or Ekiti State Water Corporation staff was involved.
“The Third Urban Water Project commiserates with the families of the departed and pray that God grants them the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”
Egbe Dam one of the six dams in Ekiti and it is the biggest of them all.
The report of Thursday, August 25 had it that Folasade Akinrinmola, the chairman of Gbonyin LGA and Ekiti police command confirmed the mishap to newsmen on Thursday, August 25.
The council chairman stated that the accident happened in the late hours of Wednesday, August 24, involving a group of seven contractors working with the World Bank on an evaluation work on the dam.
Akinrinmola explained that the men began work in the night of Tuesday, August 23 from one part of the dam and that the mishap occurred when they moved to the other part on Wednesday, August 24.
The boss stated that the traditional ruler of Egbe community informed her of the boat accident.
Akinrinmola narrated saying: “We immediately mobilised a rescue team and an ambulance, and in the process, those wearing life jackets were rescued.
“The rescued people were the ones who told us that others were in the water. “The bodies of those that had drowned were later retrieved by the local fishermen.
“One of the dead victims was said to be the son of the leader of the team who providentially escaped unhurt.
“We believe that they came to Ekiti based on some of the proposals we had written on the dam on how it can be put to use. We believe that the World Bank has started work on the dam based on their findings.”
The Gbonyin LGA chairman described the boat mishap as tragic and unfortunate, adding that the remains of the deceased had since been taken to the mortuary in Ode-Ekiti, the secretariat of Gbonyin LGA.
Alberto Adeyemi, the police public relations officer (PPRO) of the Ekiti state police command, likewise informed journalists of the incident, saying: “It is true that the boat transporting the team capsized, four of them died while three survived.”
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