Sixteen family members were among the victims that perished in Sunday’s boat mishap in Gbajibo community, Mokwa Local Government Area of Niger State.
The acting director general of the Niger State Emergency Management Agency, NSEMA, Garba Salihu, who confirmed the development on Monday September 11, in Minna, disclosed that the death toll from mishap has risen to 30 from 24.
The victims were reportedly going to the farm when the tragedy occurred.
“I told you that we have recovered 24 corpses, but that same day it later increased to 26 dead bodies. Today [Monday] we recovered four more corpses, making 30 in all,” he said.
He added that 27 of the deceased were women, while three were male children.
The NSEMA boss also dispelled the rumour making the rounds that 100 passengers boarded the ill-fated boat.
“For now, nobody knows the number of passengers on that boat. Many people entered the boat, so knowing the actual number of passengers on board will be difficult,” he said.
A member of the affected 16 family members, Hajia Kashi Mokwa told Daily Trust that the deceased included her daughter, grandchildren, and other members of the family.
“We are devastated with the mishap. Losing 16 members of your family is a severe disaster and it has happened to us. They were going to the farm when the boat collided with an underwater stump,” she said.
“Because the water level has risen now due to regular heavy rainfall, you won’t see those stumps. We want the government to come to help us. Boat mishap is becoming too much
“It has been a traumatic experience for me and the rest members of my family. Where you lost 16 members in a family at once, how easy to bear this tragedy?
“If government wants to send us relief support, it should come directly to us. Our people don’t have adequate life jackets. It’s not true that they don’t want to use. The ones the government has been giving are inadequate.
“They were all going to farm including children and women and water is our major transport system. We can’t access our farms without crossing the river. The government should help us for the sake of Allah,” she pleaded.