By Temitope Adebayo
Managing Director of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), George Moghalu, has expressed sadness over the death of passengers in the recent boat mishaps in Niger and Adamawa states.
Moghalu, in a statement described the incidents as sad and unfortunate.
On September 10, a boat carrying over 100 passengers who were on their way to their farms, capsized in the Gbajibo community of Mokwa LGA of Niger state.
About 24 of the passengers lost their lives in the Niger accident, while the boat mishap that occurred in Adamawa killed 15 out of 23 people in Njuwa Lake in Yola South LGA.
The NIWA director, therefore, sympathised with the families of the passengers who died and prayed for a quick recovery for those who sustained injuries during the mishap.
“No doubt what happened at Gurin River, a suburb of Fufore Local Government Area, Adamawa State, as well as at a river in Gbajibo, Mokwa, of Niger state was very unfortunate and saddening,” he said.
“On behalf of the management and staff of NIWA, I am extending our heartfelt sympathies to the families of the dead and the injured.
“The incidents are more disheartening as some of the victims on board were reportedly heading to their farms for farming activities.
“I hereby wish to commend the life-saving work of the first rescuers, local divers and police marine at the scenes of the two incidents.”
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He urged transporters to comply with safety measures on waterways, adding that persons living in riverine communities should avoid overcrowded boats and canoes for transportation.
President Bola Tinubu had ordered an investigation into recurring boat accidents in the country.