There was pandemonium at Egah village, in Niger state at the weekend, as a boat conveying passengers on Saturday afternoon capsized, claiming five lives in Egah river in Edati local government area of the state.
It was gathered that the boat left Gbanchi, in Edati, for Sofanla village in the fast-flowing Egah River, at about 2:30 pm, when it hit a rock, thereby spinning, before it eventually capsized. And as a result, five persons were drowned.
Our reporter also gathered that villagers and fishermen in the area have been making serious efforts to recover the bodies of the deceased.
An eye witness, Malam Iliyasu Gambo said, “The passengers would not have drowned if they had worn life jackets. The state government has told passengers and operators of boats and ferry to always wear life jackets whenever they are travelling, but these people did not wear them, that is why we couldn’t even save their lives.”
It could be recalled that the Niger state governor, Dr. Babangida Aliyu went tough on canoe and ferry operators to enforce the use of life jackets before embarking on any trip on water transportation in the state.
Niger state police command Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Richard Adamu Oguche, who confirmed the accident, stated that the police had dispatched its marine personnel to the area to assist in the recovery of the remains of the drowned passengers.
According to Oguche, amongst those that drowned in the mishap were Baba Mohammed, Abu Yaba, Audu Sa’idu, Jibrin Mohammed and Aisha Usman.