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After Pope Junior’s Death, Anambra House Of Assembly Pass Motion Requiring Compulsory Use Of Lifejackets

The Anambra State House of Assembly on Tuesday, May 14, passed a motion requiring the compulsory use of life jackets for all passengers on waterways in the state. This comes following the drowning of Paul Obumneme Odonwodo, a Nollywood movie star recently in a river in the state.

The motion was introduced at plenary session by Mr. Ikenna Ofodeme, (Majority Leader) representing the Ekwusigo constituency. It came under Matters of Urgent Public Importance.

Ofodeme said loss of lives at sea resulting from the failure of passengers and boat operators to use life jackets had become one too many. He said this was because of absence of regulations compelling operators to use lifejackets for safety of all on board.

This legislative action comes in the wake of a tragic death of Paul Odonwodo, popularly known as Junior Pope with at least three other members of a movie crew on Wednesday April 10, 2024. They were reportedly on the way to shoot a movie scene along Anam River of Anambra State.

All passengers on the board went under water when their boat clashed with another. None had a lifejacket on. A few were however rescued alive.

Passing The Motion

The legislative House said they could no longer stand by while needless deaths occured on Anambra waterways when “Section 14 (2) (b) of the 1999 Constitution stipulates that the protection of life and property remain the primary purpose of government”

Addressing the Assembly, Mr. Ofodeme said therefore, “The safety of citizens utilising water transportation is of paramount importance too. 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, concurred. Putting it to vote, the House unanimously agreed.

It’s not clear if the Motion will be christened a Pope Junior Motion in his honor. The death of the promising 42-year-old star drew widespread national and international sympathy. It sparked debate about safety and lack of regulation on Nigeria’s inland waterway transportation systems.

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Dominic Ojielo
Dominic Ojielohttps://joliba.com.ng
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