Cross River State Governor, Senator (Prince) Bassey Otu, has ordered investigation into the cruise boat mishap involving 14 medical students at the popular Marina Resort in Calabar, the state capital.
The governor, who is saddened that 3 of the medical students, who are in Calabar for the Nigeria Medical Students Games, are yet-to-be found, charged security and rescue agencies as well as local villagers involved in the operations to find the missing students and reunite them with their families.
Otu decried the safety standards at the resort, vowing that anyone found guilty to have compromised on safety would be severely sanctioned.
“The news of a cruise boat mishap at the Marina Resort, a tourist and relaxation destination in Calabar, is saddening and calls for concern not only as your governor but as a parent.
“To imagine that the boat was overcrowded and some of those on it were without life jackets is of even greater concern, and the more reason why the state government will be investigating the incident and all those found culpable of having compromised on safety standards will face the wrath of the law.
“As a government, our administration remains committed to protecting the sanctity of life and providing an enabling environment for business, tourism and peaceable living. Therefore, any untoward action that could derail our objective will not be tolerated,” the governor stated.
He further expressed his joy that all but for one of the rescued students were out of hospital and was confident that the remaining one will pull through as doctors say he is stable and responding to treatment.
Governor Otu was full of praise for personnel of the Nigerian Navy and local villagers who responded swiftly to the hapless revellers and rescued 11 of the 14 passengers on the boat.