15 dead, many missing in Niger boat mishap

Abdul Mohammed Isa, Niger State

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Fifteen people have lost their lives, while many others are still missing in boat mishap in Borgu local government area of Niger State in North Central North Central Nigeria.

According to a source, the victims were returning from Warrah market, a border community in Ngaski local government area of Kebbi state in North west part of the Country to Sabo Yumu in Borgu, when the accident late into the evenings on Sunday.

According to him, the accident may be as a result of poor visibility due to bad weather, which caused the boat to run into a tree stump on river Malale midway into the journey.

“As we speak, 15 corpses have been recovered and already buried, while two others were rescued even as many are still missing,” he explained.

He said the number of passengers on the boat cannot yet be ascertained but pointed out that “the boat was big and have capacity for over 50. Also because it is market day, there is the tendency that it might be overloaded.”

The Director General of the Niger State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA) Alhaji Ibrahim Inga who confirmed the development to Voice of Nigeria through the telephone also puts the death toll at 15.

According to him, the accident boat was carrying 50 passengers, adding that some survivors were rescued, while divers are still searching for the remaining of the occupants.

He said the state government is working towards putting in place regulatory framework to check the activities of boat operators and also addressing the impediments that hamper their activities.

He also disclosed that government is looking at the possibility of providing life jackets in a bid to reduce the high casualties often recorded during accident.

It could be recalled that accidents on river Malale and others across Niger state in North central Nigeria through Yawuri in North west Nigeria have become a recurring decimal during the peak of the raining season.

Omolayo.A