President Muhammadu Buhari has described the news of the capsizing of a boat in Ngaski Local Government Area of Kebbi State as devastating, offering his heartfelt condolences to the families of those affected by this tragedy.
At least 156 are feared dead, even as the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) reports that they are missing.
But the President notes that from media reports, 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, a statement from his office said.
NIWA declared 156 persons missing in the boat mishap which occurred in Kebi State on Wednesday.
Mr Yusuf Birma, NIWA area manager in Yauri Kebbi State, disclosed that “the boat (was) carrying 180 passengers with 30 Bajaj motorcycles. The victims were going to a market in Malele in Borgu local government area of Niger state from Kebbi and the incident happened just one hour into their trip.
“We are still rescuing the victims; the mishap occurred as a result of overloading. The boat capacity is not up 180 passengers it carried, as we speak, only 20 people have been rescued alive, four dead confirmed while the remaining 156 people are still missing and they are believed to be underwater.
“The boat involved is a wooden boat which is old and are very weak but this people will not listen when we sensitised them to reduce the number of passengers they are carrying with the boat,”