Five children drown as canoe capsizes in Kaduna

Five children drown as canoe capsizes in Kaduna

  • Lagos probes frequent boast mishaps

Five children died in Hanya Danbushiya, Kaduna North Local Government Area, on Tuesday when their canoe capsized in River Kaduna.

The children, who were all canoe peddlers, were said to be returning to the river bank to pick other passengers in the early hours of Tuesday.

It was gathered that residents of the village immediately organised a search party to look for the bodies of the children and immediately recovered three.

Aminu Ibrahim, leader of the search party, gave the names of the victims as Aliyu Mohammed, 13; Shehu Ismaila 13; Ibrahim Ladan 14; and his brother, Musa Ladan, 15, and Mustapha Hamad, 15.

“We know that these boys were very good canoe paddlers and are trusted by those who use canoe as a means of transport. They left early with full passengers and on their way coming, from what we learnt, the canoe hit an object in the river and then capsized,” Ibrahim said.

On his part, the Village Head of Doka in Danbushiya, Alhaji Musa Liman, described the incident as unfortunate.

He expressed disappointment over the response by the state Fire Service, which he said failed to respond to the villager’s distress call when contacted.

Meanwhile, worried by the frequent boat accidents on Lagos waterways, the state government has set up an 11-man committee to investigate causes of the Ikorodu-bond boat mishap.

The Commissioner for Transportation, Comrade Kayode Opeifa, who disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday, said the government was deeply saddened by the boat accident which claimed the lives of some hard-working Lagosians returning from work.

He said: “We have set up an 11-man Inter-Ministerial Fact Finding Committee to ascertain and determine the immediate and remote causes of the 2nd April, 2014 boat mishap at Ikorodu and such other similar incidents in the past.

“The committee will ascertain and confirm details of the accident including the roles of all concerned persons, institutions and agencies.”

Opeifa added that the committee would also make such recommendations as may be considered necessary to avoid a recurrence of such incidents, promote safe practices and adherence to safety standard in water transportation in the state.

According to him, the committee is headed by the Director, Public Transportation and Commuter Service, Mr. Olajide Tairu. Other members are Mr Kehinde Olanipekun, Mr Sina Thorpe, Mr. M. Loya, with representatives drawn from the Ministries of Justice, Works, and Environment.

Representatives from the Lagos State Safety Commission, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency and the Lagos State Fire Service are to also serve as members of the Committee