Atleast 26 people on Sunday, September 10, died in a boat mishap carrying over 100 persons in communities between Jebba and Kainji dam in Mokwa local government area (LGA) of Niger State, The ICIR gathered.
The victims, said to be from Gbajibo, Ekwa, and Yankyade communities, were going for farming activities when the incident occurred between 7:30 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. on Sunday.
The incident has left the affected communities in mourning as the indigenes search for the whereabouts of their loved ones.
Over 30 people had been rescued in the boat, said to be carrying primarily women and children, by a combined operation of the marine police and local divers in collaboration with the State Emergency Management Agency.
While the fate of the remaining passengers is yet to be determined as at the time of filing this report, the chairman of the Mokwa LGA, Jibrim Muregi, also confirmed the unfortunate incident to the Punch.
In a statement on Sunday, September 10, the state governor, Umaru Bago, described the incident as terrible and undesirable.
He said, “This is quite a shocking and sorrowful situation to the people of the affected communities, and I share in their sorrow.”
Commiserating with the victims who survived and the families of those who died, Bago stressed the importance of using life jackets when boarding boats and for people to desist from overcrowded boats.
In May 2021, more than 100 passengers were missing following a boat that capsized on the Malale River in the Borgu Local Government Area of Niger State, The ICIR reported.
This happened barely three weeks after another boat mishap that led to the deaths of over 28 people returning from a local market in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State.
Recently, in June this year, over 50 persons were dead in a boat said to be returning from a marriage ceremony at a neighbouring Egboti village in Niger state, conveying no fewer than 100 persons, including a father and his four children, capsized.
In another incident, The ICIR reported a boat mishap on River Niger near Malilli village in Borgu local government area of Niger State that claimed about 42 lives with over 100 missing.