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Lagos shuts waterpark, vows to sanction violators

The Lagos State Government has vowed to shut down any fun-seeking facility found violating the existing rules and regulations of the state safety commission.

Speaking to PUNCH Metro on Thursday, the state Commissioner for Information, Gbenga Omotoso, said safety was the responsibility of everybody.

Omotoso made the submission known against the backdrop of the incident involving one Masidat Kassim at the newly-opened Giwa Gardens Waterpark in Lagos on Sunday.

He said, “Once an offence is committed in your facility, it becomes a criminal matter and the police will take over. There are rules and regulations the safety commission has spelt out for them and if they don’t observe them, they will be shut down. Safety is the responsibility of all of us. We have over a thousand swimming pools in Lagos and the safety commission does not have staff who will be there for 24 hours. Anyone who sees anything like that woman should escalate it, then, the safety commission will move in.”

Kassim, who detailed her encounter on her Instagram page, explained how she sustained injuries in the facility and urged the public to exercise caution in visiting the facility.

In her Instagram post, she recounted, “This morning, I went to Giwa Gardens with my family to have fun, and it did not end well. The pools are too shallow for the long slides, my daughter hit her head when she went on it and came back to tell me I shouldn’t go…I thought she was exaggerating. I went on the slide and hit my forehead head on the tiles in the pool; I have been to at least five water parks in different countries; there is always a rubber laid in all the pools, my head hit the tiles directly, and my lips cut into two.”

Kassim further expressed her disappointment in the water park’s safety measures, stating,  “The first accident I had was at the river; I tumbled in the tube, and the back of my head hit the tiles. The staff did not even see it as a big deal!! It took them almost 15 mins before I saw one who took me casually to the nurse. The first aid service is wack!!! No good plaster available!”

“Go to Giwa Gardens at your own risk,” she exclaimed.

She emphasised that her intention was not to seek attention but to alert others to the potential dangers at the water park.

Kassim then called on the Lagos State Government to act, urging them to conduct a thorough quality control check at the gardens.

Giwa Gardens, located in Sangotedo, Lekki Epe Expressway, opened on December 16, offering a variety of water attractions and rides.

In response to Kassim’s post, the owner, Keji Giwa, apologised for her experience and said an investigation into the incident was ongoing.

He also assured Kassim of a free premium ticket with food and drinks included on her next visit.

The Lagos State Safety Commission while responding to the incident noted it was also being investigated.

He said, “We have shut the place and we are not going to shut it down forever, we are giving them some safety conditions to meet and as soon as they meet the conditions, we will open the place. The safety commission has asked those people to personally apologise to the woman. They have gone to their home to apologise to her.”

SourcePUNCH

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