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24 dead, 30 rescued in Niger boat mishap — Official



The Niger State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA), says it has recovered 24 corpses and rescued over 30 persons in a boat mishap that occurred on Sunday in Mokwa Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.

Alhaji Garba Salihu, Acting Director-General, NSEMA, disclosed this on Sunday in an interview with newsmen in Minna.

“NSEMA received a report of a boat mishap that occurred between 7.30am to 8am this morning between Jebba and Kainji Dam in Gbajibo area of Mokwa local government area.

“The agency, in collaboration with the Mokwa local government authority and the community local divers, is conducting a search, rescue and recovery operation at the scene of the incident.

“So far, 24 bodies have been recovered while over 30 persons have been rescued as the operation is still ongoing,” he said.

Salihu said that over 100 persons were said to be on board the boat when the incident occurred.

He said that the victims who are from Gbajibo, Ekwa and Yankyade communities were going to their farms at the other side of the River Niger (old gbajibo).

Meanwhile, the state governor, Alhaji Umaru Bago, has expressed shock over the incident, according to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Bologi Ibrahim.

The statement said that Bago described the incident as terrible and undesirable, saying “this is quite a shocking and sorrowful situation to the people of the affected communities and I share in their sorrow. I pray that Allah will grant the deceased Aljannah Firdausi.”

While commiserating with the families of the victims, the Governor directed NSEMA to do the needful to ameliorate the sufferings of the people.

The Governor also prayed that Allah would comfort the families of the deceased and grant quick recovery to those injured.

He, however, reiterated the importance of the use of life jackets when boarding a boat and for people to desist from overcrowding boats.

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