Musa Na Allah Sokoto
A Boat carrying an unspecified number of passengers has capsized in Magana village of Shagari local Government area, Sokoto state.
The Boat which capsized in the early hours of Wednesday was transporting locals from neighboring villages to the hinterland en route to major towns for their daily activities.
Confirming the accident, the Director-General, Sokoto state Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) Alhaji Nasiru Ahamed, Stallion Times that, they have received the report of the Boat accident in Shagari Local Government and the Agency has since joined forces with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to visit the area and ascertained the situation.
“As am speaking to you, I am in Abuja for an official engagement but we have made all necessary arrangements to continue searching for survivors and dead bodies still lying beneath water.
“SEMA will make necessary provision to the riverain area to forestall other future occurrences of the unfortunate happenings in and around the state,” the DG stated.
Reacting to the accident, the secretary to Shagari local government Alhaji Mas’oud Shagari said over 26 bodies were so far recovered from the river while searching continues for survivors and lifeless bodies.
Shagari local government is not known for such accidents until the establishment of a Dam in the area by the former Minister of Water Resources, Mukhtar Shehu Shagari during former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration.
The dam was established amidst resistance from the locals in the area who believed that the dam would take over their ancestral farmlands and defraud them of their farming activities.
Since the establishment of the dam in 2005, the area has witnessed a number of boat accidents, killing a number of people trying to cross to their villages.
It could be recalled that Governor Amino Waziristan Tambuwal has ordered the purchase of motorized boats for the people of the area when a similar accident happen in 2020.
The area is known for using old and tattered boats to ferry passengers across the dam, especially on Market days and other festivities.
It could not be confirmed whether the state ministry for the environment has provided the motorized boats to the area as directed by the governor in 2020 as the commissioner in charge of the ministry Sagir Attahiru Bafarawa has already resigned appointment to contest for Governorship of the state.
Efforts to reach his Permanent Secretary proved abortive as all his mobile contacts were switched off at the time of writing this report.