At least 24 persons, mostly women and children, have died while several others are missing after a boat capsized in Mokwa Local Government Area of Niger State.
It was gathered that the boat was carrying over 100 persons onboard including women and children from adjoining communities to New Gbajibo Resettlement heading to Old Gbajibo.
The victims who were said to be from Gbajibo, Ekwa and Yankyade communities were going for farming activities when the incident occurred between 7:30 and 8 on Sunday morning, September 10, 2023.
The council chairman, Jibrim Muregi, who confirmed the accident, however, said the actual number of travellers cannot be ascertained at the moment.
He confirmed that 21 bodies were recovered while a combined rescue operation by marine police and local divers in collaboration with Niger State Emergency Management Agency is ongoing.
Meanwhile, Niger State Governor, Mohammed Umaru Bago, has expressed shock over a boat mishap.
Governor Bago in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Bologi Ibrahim, described the incident as terrible and undesirable.
“This is quite a shocking and sorrowful situation to the people of the affected communities and I share in their sorrow. I pray that Allah will grant the deceased Aljannah Firdausi,” he said.
While commiserating with the families of the victims, the Governor directed the Niger State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA), to do the needful to ameliorate the sufferings of the people.
The Governor also prayed that Allah would comfort the families of the deceased and grant quick recovery to those injured.
He however reiterated the importance of the use of life jackets when boarding a boat and for people to desist from overcrowding boats.
The victims have been buried in accordance with the Islamic rites.