No fewer than eight people including women and children were drowned following the capsize of a canoe at Tungar-Gegero in Jega Local Government Area of Kebbi State.
Alhaji Sani Dododo, the Chairman, Kebbi State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), disclosed this to newsmen in Birnin Kebbi on Tuesday.
He said: “Just yesterday at about 10:30 a.m. there was an incident at Tungar-Gegero in Jega Local Government Area, where eight people lost their lives to canoe mishap.
“Women and children about 10 of them were onboard with only one operator, a middle aged man and he was trying to transport the people to a naming ceremony.
“They have started the journey and crossed to the other bank of the stream successfully, but on their way back the canoe capsized and all the occupants were drowned in the water.”
Dododo, however, said that the operator was able to save two women, adding that the remaining eight including children were all drowned in the water.
He said that the agency was able to recover four corpses comprising three adults and a baby girl, adding that search for the remaining bodies was still on.
“We are making frantic efforts to recover the remaining corpses, I have spoken to Sarkin Kafin Jega, who is the District Head of the area as well as the Council Chairman, Jega Local Government Area.
“In line with this, professional traditional fishermen have already been mobilised to search for the remaining bodies.
“They have started from that Tungar-Gegeru down to Kimba to Jega bridge to Mungadi because all these places are in the same terrain of the water.
“Normally, if there is this kind of capsizing, you can not find the bodies in the same place a day after, but such bodies may be recovered far away from the scene of the accident,” he said.
The Chairman assured that so many hands had been engaged towards the recovery of the corpses, adding that the agency had sought for assistance from the Inland Waterways in recovering the bodies.
He said that the agency was also getting in touch with the local government authorities as well as the head of social mobilisation of the council.
Dododo appealed to the families of the victims to take heart and accept the ugly incident in good faith and prayed to God Almighty to give the families of the deceased the fortitude to bear the loss.