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Soldier drowns, dies in boat mishap in Bayelsa creek


A boatman padding on the Lagos lagoon

A boatman padding on the Lagos lagoon

The military community was again thrown into mourning as a soldier attached to the Joint Force in the Niger Delta, code-named Operation Pulo Shield, drowned and died in the creeks of Bayelsa waterways. The soldier was escorting oil workers from an oil spill in Taylor Creek near an oilfield operated by Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) in Okordia, Yenagoa LGA, Bayelsa.

A community source said yesterday, that the soldier on escort duty drowned when a boat conveying oil workers across the Taylor Creek capsized. He said, “The boat conveying the crew from Agip’s field capsized on their way back from the site at the oilfield across and before help could come, the soldier drowned and died.

They were using a hand-paddled canoe to cross the workers one at a time. The soldier was washing his boots when water entered that boat and it capsized and his riffle fell into the creeks,” the source said. The source further said that the attention of the fishermen operating along the creek was drawn to the distressed soldier and canoe driver of the ill-fated boat and they rushed to his rescue.

Mr. Samuel Oburo, Youth President Kalaba Community, in Okordia said that local divers recovered the riffle of the dead soldier on Friday. “Some soldiers from Elele barrack came around after the remains of the soldier was recovered and asked me to mobilize local divers in search of the riffle of the soldier.

It was recovered and handed over to them. Oburo said Spokesman of the Joint Force, Col. Isa Ado could not be reached on telephone for comments concerning the incidence, and did not respond to a text message either. Eni, Parent Company of NAOC has yet to respond to an email seeking their reaction over the incidence.

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