From Olanrewaju Lawal,Birnin Kebbi
About 20 rice farmers were feared dead as boat carrying farmers in Koko/Besse Local Government Area of Kebbi capsized.
The Chairman of the council, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, confirmed the incident while speaking with newsmen through phone.
Bello explained that the accident occurred on Tuesday in the night when a one old boat was carrying more than 100 rice farmers to Samanaji, a riverine community in Koko/Besse LGA of the state.
According to the chairman,80 passengers have been rescued alive while 10 found dead and others are still missing from the mishap.
He assured that rescue search was ongoing with a view to saving the lives of those missing.
“Almost all the passengers are youths, small boys and girls, but we have found four females dead bodies and six males out of the 10 people that have been found dead.
“We have rescued more than 80 passengers and we are still searching for missing others,” he said.
“Prior to the incident, we had called on emergency meeting with district head of Dutsin Mari, other traditional rulers and leaders of the boat users in the area.
“The meeting was to enlighten them and warn them against use of rickety- old boat , over loading and traveling in the night,” he said.
Bello recalled the council had distributed 20 new boats in 2022 in an effort to forestall the incidents of the boat mishap in the area.
While confirming the incident, the Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the Kebbi State Police Command, DSP Nafiu Abubakar, who confirmed the development, said he would make public their findings of the actual incident.