How Oil-Bunkering Thief Allegedly Caused Lagos Boat Mishap

How Oil-Bunkering Thief Allegedly Caused Lagos Boat Mishap findings have revealed the real cause of the boat capsize that killed six students in Irewe area of Lagos state.

Reports had been awash the media that the boat capsized on Wednesday in Ebute-Ojo area of Ojo local government area of Lagos state, resulting in the death of about six students. had reported  that the school children died when the boat capsized on Wednesday, July 1, along the Ojo Irewe waterways in Lagos while eight of them, including the driver were rescued and all the bodies had been recovered by Thursday morning.

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How Oil-Bunkering Thief Allegedly Caused Lagos Boat Mishap
A section of the Ebute Major Waterways, as passengers were boarding a boat this morning Photo: Damilare Okunola

But our correspondent, who went to the area to find out what actually happened, gathered that the ill-fated boat was hit by an oil-bunkering thief who was being pursued by Naval Officers on the sea.

Investigation revealed that the boat driver reportedly hit the boat that was ferrying an unidentified number of school children and as a result, the boat turned over.

No fewer than six of the school children were said to have died from this incident. The oil-bunkering thief was alleged to have sped off when he realised that he had committed a grave offence.

"The bunkering guy was on his third trip for the day when the incident happened somewhere around Irewe," Samuel, one of the attendants at the Ebute-Ojo waterside disclosed.

How Oil-Bunkering Thief Allegedly Caused Lagos Boat Mishap
Some passengers moving to collect their life jackets before boarding the boat at the Ebute Major Waterways in Ojo local government area of Lagos state this morning Photo: Damilare Okunola

"The man had been caught on two different occasions by the force men same day before he went on his last trip, I guess the anger of being dispossessed of his goods on two different occasions resulted in the unnecessary race on water.

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"Some of the late students' colleagues came back in grief and, man, I was also sad about the whole incident, but what would I have done in that case than to just watch the people grief over the incident?" he asked rhetorically.

In his quest to gather more information on the whereabouts of the parents of the deceased, correspondent asked for their residence and was asked to visit another ferry point in Ajamgbadi area of Ojo local government.

And on getting to Igbede Waterways off Shibiri road, the respondent there noted that the parents of the deceased were not living anywhere around and pointed to the fact that Irewe, where the incident occurred, was quite a distance from Igbede.

However, a male resident of the area, who claimed to witness the incident, said: "Truly, it was a bunkering boat that hit that of the children who lost their lives and the man who was the anchor of the boat is a relation.

"I cannot disclose anything further than what I have told you but you can already imagine what would happen to my relation who was involved in the incident. It was really pathetic and I learnt that the bodies have been discovered already."

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On how to tackle the menace of bunkering on the waterways, Samuel stated emphatically that those who are in the business of fuel theft are people who were put in place by government officials, therefore, they are the ones to reason out how to solve the crisis."How can you tackle a problem that you are funding and breeding? The government has to stop using the guys for the bunkering business, that is the only way this issue can be resolved.

How Oil-Bunkering Thief Allegedly Caused Lagos Boat Mishap
Passengers waiting to board the boat at the Ebute Major Waterways this morning Photo: Damilare Okunola

"This is not the first time that we are having such challenges here, but this was just too much. The boat rider was desperate and didn't even look back after committing the offence," the Ebute Major Waterways attendant explained.

Meanwhile, despite the tragic incident, many Lagosians are still making use of the waterways to reach their destinations across the state.

One passenger, who was going to Liverpool area of Apapa, noted that he was not scared of going through the sea despite the incident, advising the transportation authorities that more preventive measures should be put in place to forestall future occurrences of the tragic incident.

"The report was that the students were not on live jackets, what could have killed faster than that? The federal government should ensure the safety of lives, especially on water, where one is likely to die after an incident," the trader, who preferred to be called Akpan, offered.

Recall that the Lagos state government has sent condolence messages to the families of the bereaved and have promised to get to the root of the incident.


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Khadijah Thabit (Copyeditor) Khadijah Thabit is an editor with over 3 years of experience editing and managing contents such as articles, blogs, newsletters and social leads. She has a BA in English and Literary Studies from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Khadijah joined in September 2020 as a copyeditor and proofreader for the Human Interest, Current Affairs, Business, Sports and PR desks. As a grammar police, she develops her skills by reading novels and dictionaries. Email:

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