· Watch your wards this rainy season – FEMA
· Community moves to appease water spirits
By Sarah NEGEDU
The FCT Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, has confirmed the death of 12-year old Samuel Omoniyi Omotayo, who had drowned at the Dogongada river in Lokogoma district of the FCT, where he had gone swimming with friends.
The Abuja Inquirer exclusively gathered that the young Omotayo had snuck out of church where his family where worshiping, to go join his friends for adventure at the river. Tragedy however struck after he couldn’t swim out from the deep river that had over flowed due to heavy rains.
Director General of FEMA, Alhaji Abbas Idriss, who confirmed the incident to our correspondent, said the body was recovered not far away from the Dogongada river several hours after the minor was declared missing.
Idriss, who cautioned residents against swimming in rivers in rainy season due to high water currents in most rivers during this period, advised parents to be alert and always abreast of the where about of their children.
“We have been advising parent time without number, not to allow their children to go to the river for swimming especially during this period when water levels are high. Children can be adventurous and go to dangerous heights to catch fun without their parents’ knowledge and that is why as parents we must always know where our children are and what company they keep.
“However, most times the parents do not know where their children are. The most unfortunate thing, which is very paramount, is that most parents do not also know the kind of friends their children keep. Imagine the deceased was picked from church and taken to the river where he met his untimely death.”
A friend of the deceased, who narrated the unfortunate incident, said all eight friends had left Kabusa for a swim in Lokogoma oblivious of the tragedy awaiting one of them.
The visibly distraught minor said none of the friends had told their parents they were going for a swim.
“I was in church around 8am, when my friend went to my house to lie to my mother that he wants me to go show him one of our friend’s house. After church, I didn’t inform my mummy I was going anywhere, I just went with that friend to the other friend’s house where others joined us.
“All eight of us then took a bike from there to Dogongada where we went to swim. Seven of us swam only at the shallow part of the river but Samuel kept going to the deep and we kept warning him because he is not a very good swimmer but he wouldn’t listen. Later we saw him raising his hands and struggling to stay afloat, we now ran to call a man who sells iron close by.”
The village head of Dogongada, while explaining issues regarding the burial rites, said the community will have to embark on some traditional rites to avoid repercussions on the community.
The deceased Samuel Omoniyi Omotayo hailed from Osun State.