It was another day of agony and sorrow in Borgu Emirate council of Niger State as a boat conveying 18 passengers capsized, killing 11 of the passengers on board.
According to Malam Danburan, an Assistant Secretary at the Emirate, he said the unfortunate accident happened on Thursday between 5 and 6pm.
The boat was conveying passengers, who were mostly locals, from Garafini Kodo to Garafini when the accident happened,
Eye-witness accounts, which included the seven survivors of the mishap, revealed that the boat hit the stump of a tree covered by water and broke, throwing all the passengers into the water.
The seven survivors were said to have swam into safety.
It will be recalled that the recent mishap brought to four of such incidents in Niger State in the last one year.
Meanwhile, Governor of Niger state Dr Mua’zu Babangida Aliyu, has condoled with the Borgu Emirate and entire people of Borgu Local Government Council over the tragic death of persons in the area.
The governor, who also condoled the entire state over the tragic incident, made his position known in a press statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Israel A. Ebije.
He said the incident happened at Garafini Kodo area of Borgu adding that seven other passengers were rescued.
The governor while commiserating with the people over the incident described it as unfortunate, pledging that government would investigate the remote cause of the disaster and continue to work towards checking rising cases of boat mishaps within communities in riverine areas across the state especially as the rainy season intensifies.
“This is no doubt a dark moment for us here in Niger state. These were people who were hale and hearty and in good health condition pursuing different legitimate courses until they met their untimely deaths. I see this as a personal loss not just in my capacity as governor, but first as a human being who attaches much premium to human life and dignity.”
The statement further urged inhabitants of communities in riverine settlements to avoid traveling in overcrowded boats and ensure they adhere strictly to laid down safety measures. It also called on community leaders to enlighten their subjects on the dangers associated with disobeying safety guidelines while traveling by boat.
The governor while pledging continuous government policy in ensuring strict adherence to wearing life jackets and other safety measures said the safety of lives and property of all Nigerlites, irrespective of tribe, religious or political persuasion remains top priority of his administration.