Linus Oota, Lafia
No fewer than seven persons reportedly died in a boat accident at the weekend in Gwayaka River in Lafia East Development Area of Lafia local government in Nasarawa State.
The incident is coming barely a year after four died in a boat accident in Ashangwa, in the same Lafia East Development Area of the state.
An eyewitness told our correspondent that the victims who were mostly irrigation farmers from Kano, were returning from their farms that evening when the incident occurred.
He said the canoe was overloaded with over 20 passengers and the peddler complained about it and begged some of them to get off the boat so that he could peddle across and come back, but the passengers who were eager to cross the river because it was getting darker were unyielding.
“The peddler out of anger abandoned the canoe; then one of the passengers started peddling it across the river, suddenly the canoe capsized in the middle of the river. Minutes later, it was discovered that seven of the passengers were missing after the rest had managed to come out of the river alive,” he said.
He said as at Monday, three bodies out of seven were recovered while four remained missing.
The overseer of Lafia East Development Area, Shuiabu Dahiru Zanwa, who confirmed the incident, said efforts were in top gear to recover the remaining four dead bodies.
He said a security meeting with the communities along the river bank (district and village heads), would be held today, to take measures against a re-occurrence of such ugly incident.