In Ebu community where at least 61 died, community folks know at least one person who died, as a pall of gloom covered the serene community. Same for Gakpan, where a source of joy turned to mourning, and it will take obviously while for the folks to overcome the tragedy.
Meanwhile, President Bola Tinubu has expressed sadness over the boat mishap, which occurred in Kwara State, claiming many lives.
Figures range between 100 and 103, but the community people say they lost 110 lives when a boat carrying about 270 passengers returning from a wedding capsized early Monday on the Niger River part of Kwara state sharing the border Niger state, north central Nigeria.
Exact official figures are still being awaited, but the Transition Implementation Committee Chairman, Patigi Local Government Area (LGA), Alhaji Mohammed Ibrahim Liman, said that about 110 passengers reportedly died in the accident.
Quoting a statement by one Alhassan Bala Mohammed, a community leader in the area, the Chairman said, “About 110 people died in the boat mishap in our area. We’re going to tell you about the tragedy and unforgettable memory that occurred to my people from our village and other neighbouring villages close to us.
“Our village people went to a wedding ceremony in another village called Gboti and the boat carried about 270 people, and almost 110 people were lost.”
Liman gave a further breakdown: 61 villagers Ebu; 38 from Gakpan; four from Kpada, two from Kuchalu and one from Sampi.
The Emir of Ilorin and Chairman of the Kwara State Council of Chiefs, Alhaji (Dr.) Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, CFR, said the boat accident was unfortunate and disheartening.
In a statement issued on Tuesday by his spokesman, Mallam Abdulazeez Arowona, the paramount ruler condoled the Etsu Patigi, Alhaji Umar Ibrahim Bologi II, the government and people of the state over the incident, prayed for the families of victims of the boat mishap for God’s comfort at this trying time.
“Our hearts and prayers are with you at this auspicious moment and may Almighty Allah give you all the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss this incident might cause you”, the Emir said.
Meanwhile, the Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, has commiserated with the people of Patigi on the news of the boat mishap.
A statement released by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Rafiu Ajakaye, said: “The Governor is sad to receive reports of the boat accident involving several people, particularly residents of Ebu, Dzakan, Kpada, Kuchalu, and Sampi — all in Patigi.
“The Governor sends his heartfelt condolences to the people of these communities and those from other states.
“He prays to Almighty Allah to repose the souls of the victims.
“The Governor, meanwhile, continues to monitor the rescue efforts already mounted since Monday night, in search of possible survivors.
“He commends the alertness of the Etsu Patigi, His Royal Highness Alhaji Ibrahim Umar Bologi II, and other local government authorities, for their efforts to save as many people as possible who may survived the mishap,” he said.