At least six traders died while 12 persons were missing after a boat mishap on River Niger, around Shanga Local Government Area of Kebbi State.
The accident happened following a head-on collision between two local boats carrying traders and their goods on Tuesday at about 8:30 p.m. in Barikin Sakace, Shanga Local Government Area.
Chief Press Secretary to the Kebbi State Governor, Abubakar Dakingari disclosed this on Wednesday in a statement made available to newsmen in Birnin Kebbi.
According to him, “Two canoes were carrying more than 78 passengers, six persons have been confirmed dead while 12 are still missing and over 60 were rescued.”
He said Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State had directed the traditional rulers, local government chairmen, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) officials and Marine Police to prohibit night travels by boats and canoes.
According to Dakingari, the governor gave the directive when he paid a condolence visit to the relatives of the victims in the area.
An eye witness, Abubakar Maleje, was reported as describing the mishap as “terrible”.
“I have seen six dead bodies and others are still missing in the river while search and rescue mission is still on by the authorities concerned.
“Most of the passengers were travelling in the night in spite of the dangers of river voyage in the night.
“You can see the local boat operators overloading their boats with goods and people,’’ he reportedly said.
The Executive Director of the State Emergency Management Agency, Abbas Kamba, also confirmed the incident.
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