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BROADCAST Journalist and Director of Media and Publicity of the All Progressives Congress Campaign Council in Bayelsa State, Perry Tukuwei Jnr has died in a boat mishap that occurred in Nembe Local Government Area of the state on Wednesday 25 October 2023.
Tukuwei was declared missing after the tragic incident occurred while he and two other journalists were travelling from Nembe Town to Okoroba Community in Nembe for the party’s governorship campaign.
According to eyewitness accounts, the driver of the speedboat in which they were travelling lost control as a result of turbulence created by waves and capsized at about 1 pm along the Nembe Creek leading to Okoroba, the Nigerian Tribune reported.
A journalist who was part of the trip told the Nigerian Tribune that some speedboats conveying journalists, protocol, security and medical team, including the one conveying Tukuwei had left Nembe to Okoroba as advance team to prepare the venue for the arrival of the governorship candidate of the APC, Chief Timipre Sylva when the incident occurred.
According to him, all the occupants of the speedboat, including Tukuwei, wore life jackets, and all were rescued by the convoy of the governorship candidate, except for the media director who is yet to be accounted for.
“We all boarded separate speedboats from Nembe. When we got to Okoroba, we waited for some hours but the government candidate did not show up. Ordinarily, we felt they had a brief stop along the way, so waited. Only for them to come later to inform us that the boat conveying the media director capsized and his body is yet to be found.
“According to the story, because the life jacket was too small for Tukuwei, he failed to buckle it. And that may have been the reason why he drowned. I tend to believe this story because every other passenger on the boat survived except for Tukuwei,” the source said.
Meanwhile, the APC Governorship Campaign Council has announced the suspension of its campaign activities billed to hold today in Nembe-Ogbolomabiri and Nembe-Bassambiri, all in Nembe Local Government Area.
Tukuwei, who hailed from Toru-Ndoro community in Ekeremor Local Government Area of the state, was appointed Director, Media and Publicity of the APC Campaign Council in Bayelsa Date early October.
A media and communications expert, Tukuwei was an alumnus of the School of Politics, Politics and Governance. He was also a BBC-trained journalist who won the Best on Air Personality, Best Television Presenter in the Niger Delta as well as Bayelsa’s Best Journalist of the Year five years in a row from 2015-2020.
He was also a one-time acting Head of Programmes Raypower FM Yenagoa before he was elevated to the national network in Abuja becoming a co-anchor of one of AIT’s breakfast programme, ‘Kaakaki’.