President Muhammadu Buhari expresses immense grief on the boat mishap in Tijana village of Munya Local Government Area of Niger State and extends his heartfelt sympathies to the families of the dead and the injured.
No fewer than 28 bodies were recovered by divers from the scene of Saturday’s boat mishap in Tijana village of Munya Local Government Area of Niger State.
Mallam Ahmed Inga, the Director General, Niger State Emergency Management Agency, told newsmen in Minna on Sunday that the number of people on board was about 100.
According to Inga, 28 bodies have been recovered, 65 people rescued, while search for the remaining seven was ongoing.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that a local boat carrying about 100 people, including women and children, capsized at about 6pm on Saturday midway into its two hours journey.
The six-month old local boat capsized due to a heavy windstorm occasioned by the Saturday evening rain in the area.
The villagers were said to be returning from a local market in Zumba village of Shiroro Local Government Area.
Meanwhile, Mallam Adamu Ahmed, the Sarkin Kasuwan Zumba, however, called for more support, especially in the area of logistics, to speed up the search operation.
Ahmed said: “Some of the victims were going back to the village to go and get some food items and return to Zumba, where they were taking refuge as a result of bandits’ activities in their communities.”
The victims, he said, were mostly Internally Displaced Persons from about seven communities, all in Munya LGA.
According to President Buhari, the incident is more disheartening as some of the victims were reportedly Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
Commending the life-saving work of the first responders and local divers at the scene of the incident, the President wishes the wounded a speedy recovery and success on the search and rescue of some missing passengers on the capsized boat.
President Buhari calls on the transportation authorities to ensure strict adherence to safety regulations on the nation’s waterways and urges that lessons from this accident should help prevent a future occurrence.
He assures residents of Niger State that restoring long term stability and peace is a core objective of the Federal Government working with the State government and other critical stakeholders in the local communities.