By Ibrahim Abubakar, Yola
No fewer than 15 people may have been feared dead in a boat mishap in Njuwa lake in Yola south local government area of Adamawa state.
According to reports “the boat conveying locals including children capsized in the popular Njuwa lake across Rugange village.
An eye witness identified as Faisal Dabo Rugange said “the sad incident happened Friday evening when the victims are crossing to main Yola town from their routine local businesses before heavy windstorm blew waters into the boat and boat capsized”.
The local boat was said to have been carrying about twenty passengers on board according to him but only six were rescued by local divers before a bigger boat arrived at the scene for evacuation. Faisal said the perennial flooding in the Rugange community has caused a lot of problems which leads to loss of lives due to overflow of large volume of water along river Benue. He called on the government to provide the people with bigger engine boats.
Meanwhile, Mohamed Suleiman, the State Coordinator, Adamawa state Emergency Management Agency confirmed that 1 died, 17 bodies are yet to be discovered and 5 have been rescued at the time of filing this report.
Meanwhile, the state governor has commiserated with the families affected by the mishap. Below is the text of a press release.
Governor Fintiri Mourns Victims Of Capsized Boat
Adamawa State Governor, Rt. Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri has commiserated with the families of victims of the River Njuwa boat mishap which occurred on Friday.
Governor Fintiri described it as unfortunate and a big loss to the State. He said “These were petty traders in search of livelihood whose lives were cut short.”
The government has confirmed the rescue of 8 persons while rescue operations are still ongoing. There were 23 persons on-boat the canoe.
“I have directed my Deputy to visit and assess the situation for prompt assistance to the families of the affected persons.”
The passenger boat was said to be travelling from Rugange village to Yola town when the incident occurred at about 11 am after encountering a violent storm.
“I am out of the State attending a crucial meeting of the North East Governors forum in Maiduguri, but my heart is with the families of the affected and the entire State during this period of mourning and pray Allah grant us the fortitude to bear the loss.”
While commiserating with the families of the deceased, Governor Fintiri has assured that the State Government would not relent in coming up with policies and programmes aimed at ensuring safety on the waterways.
Chief Press Secretary To The Governor