Nine Die as Boat Capsizes in Niger

Laleye Dipo in Minna

Tragedy again struck in Niger State when a pregnant woman and her two-year-old son died in a boat mishap on the River Kaduna at Shiroro Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.

Seven others also lost their lives in the accident reported to have taken place last Monday evening.

The accident was the second within 24 hours after two fresh graduates of the Niger State College of Education died in a similar manner last Sunday morning at Bina in the Lapai LGA of the state.

Others who lost their lives in the accident were a mechanic, one John Moses and two of his apprentices, Khalifa Danladi, 14, and Ubale Usman, 16.

They resided in Nangawu community in Bosso LGA and were going to repair a faulty vehicle when they met their untimely death.

The deceased were said to have boarded the boat from Shata Sabo in Shiroro LGA when it capsized midway into the journey at Soho in Bosso LGA, killing nine of the 11 passengers.

The Director General of the Niger State Emergency Management Agency, Alhaji Ibrahim Inga, who confirmed the incident yesterday, said other passengers on the ill-fated boat were one Malam Muhammad Safir of Fulani extraction whose age could not be immediately ascertained; Malam Salihu Aliyu, and 72 year-old man simply referred to as Makudi.

Inga said two of the passengers including the boat’s driver whose identity could also not be ascertained, survived the accident, adding that the the driver was in critical condition.

Inga said the cause of the accident could be overloading but added that “flood wave,” could have aggravated it.

“The passengers were already on the water when flood wave hit the boat forcing it to capsize,” he said.

He said local divers were moblised to the scene shortly after the accident but only the remains of the pregnant Ramatu was recovered with her son strapped to her back, adding that divers were still searching for the remaining passengers.

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