Nigeria’s domestic tourism players have called for more adequate safety measures to be put in place in order to safe guide tourists during tours within the country.
These clarion calls kept pouring in a chat by Naija 7 Wonders group members following the drowning of a tourist, Stephen Tikyaa while on a group tour at Ruwa farin Water Fall, a famous tourist site in the Northern part of Nigeria.
”True, but I have always advice hikers and insist against swimming in waterfalls. Because no one has ascertain the depth of many of the waterfalls in Nigeria, I just advice to play around the edges not to swim, and not further than the edges. Safety measures that’s all… God help us”. Said Nanna, a prominent tourism expert in Nigeria.
A concerted effort from the other tourists, rescuers and various stakeholders across the country especially the Naija 7 Wonders group led by Ikechi Uko,to savage the situation proved abortive as he was pronounced dead after his body was recovered from the water through the frantic efforts of local authorities who swiftly took pro-active steps by sending divers to the scene some hours later.
In a swift reaction, the firm that organised the tour, The Outdoor tribes immediately made a public statement about what transpired at the scene and expatiated on the adequate steps that had been taken.
The statement says:
“It is with heavy hearts we @thaoutdoortribe convey this update on the unfortunate incident that occurred over the weekend, the passing away of our dear friend and member, Stephen Tikyaa(@stephan_tk).”
“On Saturday 23/01/2021, a group of 60 friends from ThaOutdoorTribe went for a picnic at Farin Ruwa waterfalls, Nasarawa State. Tragically, one of our members Stephen Tikyaa who went for a swim in the waterfall with other members drowned and unfortunately passed away at the scene. Multiple attempts by other members and the safety team to rescue Stephen from drowning failed in the face of prevailing currents, and the naturally freezing temperatures of the Farin Ruwa Waterfalls. Despite our best efforts, we were unable to save him. Sadly his body could not be recovered that day.”
“Stephens family was contacted on the same day. They arrived at the police division command on Sunday the 24/01/2021 where we reported the case.
At our request professional divers were called in to help recover his body in the presence of his father and family, and handed over to be transported back to their hometown.”
“Contrary to what has been going about online, Stephen was not missing nor was he left behind. We make this statement with the consent of the family and ask that the public calm the false rhetoric going on online.”
“We @ThaOutdoorTribe and the rest of the hiking community in Abuja commiserate with the family on what is a very difficult loss for one of ours. To everyone who is understandably shaken by the incident, we acknowledge your concern and ask that you join us in keeping Stephen’s soul in your prayers.”
“As the family prepares for final rites, we @ThaOutdoorTribe will continue to do everything possible to help with the transition. Details will follow shortly for a candle light service, fund me campaign for the family and an online zoom session for attendees of the picnic to talk through any trauma they might still be experiencing and to help bring closure to this sad event.”
Following the unfortunate incident, further safety measures are now being introduced by governments , tour operators and tourists in order to forestall recurrence of this ugly incident in the future as the Nigeria gets ready to take domestic tourism drive to an enviable position.