The Managing Director of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) Chief Dr. George Moghalu has expressed immense grief on the boat mishap that happened at Gurin River, a surburb of Fufore Local Government Area, Adamawa State, as well as at a river in Gbajibo, Mokwa of Niger state.
For the Niger incident, about 26 bodies were recovered, while 44 are still missing.
The Niger State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA) confirmed that over 100 persons were on board the boat. The agency added that the victims, who were from Gbajibo, Ekwa, and Yankyade communities, were on the way to their farms located on the other side of the River Niger.
In Yola, a boat carrying 23 people capsized in Njuwa Lake, killing at least 15 people, the state’s emergency agency and witnesses said.
Bearly 72 hours after the incident, another boat capsized in a river, in Gurin, a suburb of Fufore Local Government Area of the state with many people onboard.
Extending his heartfelt sympathies to the families of the dead and the injured, the NIWA boss stated that the incident is more disheartening as some of the victims on board were reportedly heading for farming activities.
Commending the life-saving work of the first responders, local divers and police marine at the scene of the incident, Dr. George Moghalu wished the wounded a speedy recovery and success on the search and rescue of some missing passengers on the capsized boat.
The NIWA boss reiterated call on transporters to ensure strict adherence to safety regulations on the nation’s waterways, emphasizing on the need for the people in the riverine communities traveling by boats and canoes to use live jackets and avoid overcrowded boats.