[EDITORIAL] One Boat Mishap Too Many

Tue Apr 26th, 2022 - Bayelsa

Recently, 28 people were reported to have died as a result of a boat mishap in the Gidan-Magana village of Shagari Local Government Area of Sokoto State. The village head of Gidan-Magana, Mohammed Auwalu, said the incident occurred in the morning of the fateful day while the victims were crossing the water on a boat, heading to a nearby village of Badiyawa. We also recall that in March, this year, four siblings drowned after a boat taking them, their father, and two other passengers across the river to their farm capsized in Yauri, Kebbi State.

Available statistics indicate that in 2021, over 200 people lost their lives to boat accidents in Kebbi State. Similarly, in June last year, over 100 persons died when a boat, which was conveying over 180 passengers, took off from Loko in Minna, Niger State, and was heading for Kebbi State when it capsized. The victims, mostly traders, were said to be on their way to a market in Kebbi State when tragedy struck.

Before that incident, over 20 people died in the Yauri Riverboat mishap also in Kebbi. Sadly, in our view, in December last year, 29 people, including schoolchildren, died after a boat capsized in a river in Kano. Most of the victims were Islamic school pupils aged between six and 12 who were traveling to a religious event.

Two weeks before then, seven girls drowned when a boat overturned in neighbouring Jigawa state. In that same December, seven people, including children, died in Zhigiri village of Shiroro Local Government Area in Niger State after a boat capsized. On New Year’s Day this year, no fewer than eight persons reportedly died in a boat accident in Bayelsa State. The tragedy was said to have happened while they were traveling from Ogboinbiri to Amassoma in the Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state.

How Sokoto Lost 29 Lives In Boat Mishap

In October last year, the Ondo State Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps had disclosed that no fewer than four people lost their lives while 19 other people sustained serious injuries in a boat accident in the state.

In the considered opinion of this newspaper, it may not be out of place to surmise that the emerging scenario in parts of the country point to a boat mishap epidemic. In Kebbi, in the last two years, the deaths recorded in boat accidents are almost the number of people that have died as a result of insecurity, yet tackling the menace of boat mishaps seem not to be on the front burner.




source: Leadership