Mohammed Aminu in Sokoto
No fewer than 21 persons lost their lives while 12 others were rescued by local divers, when a canoe carrying 33 people capsized in a river in Rabah Local Government Area of Sokoto State.
THISDAY checks revealed that the incident occurred on Thursday, when 33 passengers boarded the canoe from Gandi settlement to Gidan Kare village of Rabah Local Government Area.
The Director-General, State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Sokoto, Ibrahim Dingyadi, who confirmed the incident to journalists in Sokoto, said the passengers were Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and victims of bandits’ attacks in the area. Dingyadi said the incident occurred as a result of overloading of the canoe. He said as soon as officials of Rabah Local Government Area informed the agency about the unfortunate incident, rescue arrangements were immediately made to save the victims.
“The victims left the camp on their own without informing the officials of the local government council that they are going back home. “In fact, the canoe capsized in the middle of the river while local divers swiftly intervened to save the lives of the 12 other passengers,” he said.
He further said the 21 deceased persons were mostly women and children, adding that they had been buried in accordance with Islamic rites. While warning residents against overloading of passengers on boats, Dingyadi urged the local government officials to sensitise the people on the importance of using safety jackets on boats.