John Adams, Minna
Tragedy struck, on Monday, in Shata Sabon, a riverine community, in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State, as a pregnant woman, identified as Ramatu Mamman, her two-year-old son, Saminu, and seven others persons perished in boat mishap.
Director General of the Niger State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA), Alhjai Ahmed Inga, who confirmed the incident to newsmen, in Minna, on Tuesday, said the deceased persons boarded the boat from Shata Sabo when it capsized midway into their journey.
They were reportedly traveling to Shata Sobo in Bosso Local Government Area of the state, killing nine of the 11 passengers on board at about 10:00a.m.
According to the Director General, those who lost their lives were a mechanic, one John Moses, and two of his apprentices, Khalifa Danladi, 14, and Ubale Usman, 16.
The trio were said to be based in Nangawu community also in Bosso council and were going to repair a broken down vehicle when they met their deaths.
The other passengers on the ill-fated boat, Inga explained, were one Malam Muhammad Safir of Fulani extraction whose age could not be immediately ascertained, Malam Salihu Aliyu and a 72-year-old man simply referred to as Makadi.
Inga said two of the passengers, including the boat’s pilot whose identity could not be ascertained, survived the accident but that the driver is in critical condition.
Inga also said though the load was beyond the capacity of the boat which, he explained, was very small, he attributed the cause of accident to flood wave. “They were already on the water when flood wave hits the boat forcing it to capsize”, he noted.
He said local divers were moblised to the scene shortly after the accident but only the remains of the pregnant woman was recovered with her son strapped to her back.
He said local divers were still searching for the remaining of the passengers as at time of filing this report.