A boat carrying at least 22 passengers from Kasabu village in Agwara Local Government Area of Niger State to Yauri, Kebbi State, has capsized.
The Director-General, Niger State Emergency Management Agency, Salihu Garba, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria in Minna, the state capital.
He said that the agency received a report of the boat incident that occurred on Monday, October 2, 2023, between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m in Yauri Local Government Area of Kebbi State.
According to him, a survivor of the incident said that the boat had about 22 passengers on board.
He said that search and rescue operations were ongoing by the local divers and boat owners under the supervision of the agency’s desk officer in Agwara.
He said no passenger has been recovered yet, adding that the incident happened on Yauri market day.
Garba added that only after the market would families be able to declare their missing relatives.
He explained that it takes about 24 hours for any drowned person to surface atop the water.
He attributed the cause of the incident to water hyacinth coupled with strong waves.
However, Yauri local government council Chairman, Alhaji Bala Mohammed, who confirmed the incident to newsmen in Birnin Kebbi, said the boat, which was carrying 50 people and luggages.
According to him, the boat capsized as a result of waves in the Niger River, and only 10 people were rescued while the remaining 40 and the boat were still under the river.
The chairman said rescue workers are still searching for the boat and the bodies of the people aboard it.