No fewer than 20 persons have been killed in a boat accident in Gandi District of Rabah Local Government Area, of Nigeria’s Sokoto State.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said Friday that the vessel, which was carrying 50 passengers overturned in strong currents in a river around 10:00 am on Thursday.
“Rescue teams recovered the bodies of 17 women and four children on board the overloaded boat which capsized due to strong waves,” Suleiman Karim of NEMA said.
He added that 29 passengers were lucky to make it to the shore.
The passengers were heading to Garin Kare village on the other side of the river to check on their homes, which they deserted following deadly raids last month by suspected cattle rustlers on neighbouring villages.
Thousands of the villagers fled to a makeshift camp in Gandi town after the bandits’ attack, in which 32 people were killed and dozens of homes burnt.
Meanwhile, Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal has commiserated with the families of the victims of the boat mishap.
The governor in a statement which was signed by his media aide, Abubakar Shekara also prayed for the quick recovery of the survivors.
“Governor Tambuwal prays for the repose of the souls of those who died in the accident and quick recovery of survivors, with the hope that the people of Gandi would regard the calamities as trials from Allah. He prayed that they would be granted the fortitude to bear with the loss of loved ones,”
Governor Tambuwal added that Sokoto State was still grieving the loss of about 40 persons, who were killed in an attack by armed criminals in the same area, before this recent boat mishap.