Buhari Mourns Victims Of Boat Mishap

President Muhammadu Buhari speaks during the registration and revalidation exercise of the All Progressives Congress on January 30, 2021.
File photo of President Muhammadu Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has mourned the victims boat which capsized at Corner Libata in Ingaski Local Government Area of Kebbi State

Buhari in a statement issued on Wednesday by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, commiserated with the families of the victims.

More than 150 people were missing and feared drowned in northwest Nigeria after an overloaded boat ferrying passengers to a market sank in the Niger River, local officials said.

The boat was travelling between central Niger state and Wara in northwest Kebbi state when it went down, National Inland Waterways Authority local manager Yusuf Birma told reporters.

Reacting, President Buhari described the news of the capsizing as devastating, offering his heartfelt condolences to the families of those affected by this tragedy.

READ ALSO: At Least 100 Missing As Boat Capsizes In Niger

According to the President’s spokesman, there are indications that the boat was overloaded and there is no official confirmation on the number of casualties.

“While efforts are ongoing to recover more survivors, the President extends his gratitude to all those involved in the rescue efforts and wishes those injured from the accident quick recovery,” the statement partly read.

The passengers were said to be heading to a market in Malele in Borgu local government area of Niger state when the boat sank an hour into the journey.

Local district administrator Abdullahi Buhari Wara earlier blamed the accident on overloading as the boat was meant to ferry no more than 80 passengers.

Boat tragedies are common on Nigerian waterways mostly due to overcrowding, bad weather and lack of maintenance, but Wednesday’s toll would be one of the deadliest recent accidents.

“The vessel was also loaded with bags of sand from a gold mine,” he said.

Early this month 30 people drowned when an overloaded boat capsized in Niger state.

The boat ferrying 100 local traders split into two after hitting a stump during a storm as they were returning from a local market, according to emergency officials.

The Niger is West Africa’s main river running in a crescent through Guinea to Nigeria’s Niger Delta and is a key local trade route for some of the countries.

 

Footballers, Fans Killed In Boat Capsize

 

At least eight members of a Ugandan football team and their fans died and 15 more are missing, after a boat, they were travelling in capsized on Lake Albert, police said Monday.

The boat was travelling between two fishing villages in the west of the country when it capsized, with police attributing the accident to overloading and bad weather.

“So far we have recovered eight bodies … up to 15 people are missing and a joint Marine unit is on the waters. But we expect no more survivors,” Ugandan area regional spokesman, Julius Allan Hakiza, told AFP.

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A local official in Fofo, Baker Ogen, told AFP the toll was higher.

“Those who have died in this tragedy are 30 and all from my area,” said Ogen.

“The boat was loaded with our players and supporters. It had over 60 people but 32 of those survived,” he said, adding that the dead included five players and the team coach.

“It is a tragedy for us and a big loss,” he added.

In December 2016, at least 30 Ugandan members of a village football team and their fans drowned when their boat capsized on Lake Albert during a party.

In 2014 at least 251 refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo drowned on the lake while returning home from Uganda.

Such accidents are common in Africa’s Great Lakes region, where boats are often the only form of transportation, are over-crowded and poorly maintained, and few people know how to swim.

Almost 140 people died last month on Lake Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Last year in Tanzania 228 people drowned when a ferry sank just metres from the shore on Lake Victoria.

AFP