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Mr. Desmond Amaugo, the sailor of the boat that capsized and killed many people in Anambra State has said that he was under duress to embark on the trip by desperate female traders.
Amaugo said the boat mishap that occurred during the weekend at Umunakwo, Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State happened as a result of traders who were eager to sell their prematurely harvested crops due to this year’s flood that submerged their farms before the crops could mature.
The mishap has prompted a reaction from President Muhammadu Buhari and the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP, Peter Obi, who expressed shock and sadness over the incident.
According to Amaugo, contrary to reports, 48 rather than 85 people boarded the boat. Most of the passengers were women and children.
He said: “I did not want to embark on that trip, but the people, mostly women, who were desperate to go to Nkwo Ogbakuba market to sell premature crops harvested from flooded farms, begged me to ferry them to the market.
See Also: Scores Die As Boat Capsizes In Anambra
“The market women besieged my house and persuaded me to sail them to Ogbakuba. Having taken off, the wave became too severe and all my attempts to control it failed. The water waves knocked the boat against the pillars of Umunnakwo/Ossomala bridge against all efforts I made to stabilize it.
“Suddenly, the boat capsized. It was terrible seeing people struggle for life.”
He added that the search team recovered 10 more bodies yesterday, noting that efforts were still being made to recover others.