Boat mishap claims 7 lives with 136 missing in Kebbi
A boat mishap at Ngaski Local Government Area of Kebbi State has claimed no fewer than seven people, with, 136 others missing and more than 20 hospitalised.
The cause of the accident is not yet known, but the boat, which was meant to carry maximum of 100 was said to have been carrying no fewer than 150 passengers, mostly traders returning from Malali Market, before it capsized along River Niger.
Sources say the government officials, who supervise water transport in state collect dues and tips from the boat operators without keeping to the regulation.
On several occasions, near boat-mishaps are daily occurrence, but are suppressed by the state government.
However, the Coordinator of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), in charge of Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara states, Alhaji Sulaiman Muhammad, who confirmed the accident said it happened on Saturday.
He said fishermen and officials of the Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) were making efforts to rescue the missing passengers.
“As soon as we were informed of the mishap, we put a call to the Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority to help rescue the missing passengers.
“All the people on board were missing, but as search intensified, into the deeper part of the river, 14 people were discovered; seven dead and seven taken to Ngaski Hospital,” he said.
Reports say most states’ governments in Nigeria have not paid due attention to the development of water ways as a viable means of supporting road transportation, except cases where touts are meant to serve as agents for revenue collection for government from the sector.