An overloaded boat ferrying about 200 passengers” from the neighboring country of Niger capsized yesterday in Kebbi state. Yahaya Sarki, a media aide for the governor of Kebbi confirmed this to National Mail online
He added: “Bodies are still being recovered. We can’t ascertain the number for now.”
The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) however declared 156 persons missing in the boat mishap which occurred in Kebi State on Wednesday.
Mr Yusuf Birma, NIWA area manager in Yauri Kebbi State, disclosed this, adding that the accident was caused by overloading.
Birma said rescue operation is still ongoing but added that four people have been confirmed dead, 20 rescued alive while 156 people are still missing.
“The boat is carrying 180 passengers with 30 Bajaj motorcycles. The victims were going to a market in Malele in Borgu local government area of Niger state from Kebbi and the incident happened just one hour into their trip.
We are still rescuing the victims; the mishap occurred as a result of overloading. The boat capacity is not up 180 passengers it carried, as we speak, only 20 people have been rescued alive, four dead confirmed while the remaining 156 people are still missing and they are believed to be underwater,” he told reporters.
Speaking further on the cause of the mishap, Birma added that most of the boats are old and weak.
“The boat involved is a wooden boat which are is old and are very weak but this people will not listen when we sensitised them to reduce the number of passengers they are carrying with the boat, ” he said.
The Niger state emergency management agency also confirmed the incident adding that it didn’t happened in their state.