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River Niger Boat Mishap: Senate urges FG to provide modern boats to Kebbi communities

By Garba Ahmed on 05/05/2017

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•Motion sponsor, Deputy Senate Leader Bala Ibn Na’Allah.
•Motion sponsor, Deputy Senate Leader Bala Ibn Na’Allah.

The Nigerian Senate has called on the Federal Government to assist communities of Warra, a Riverine community in Ngaski Local Government Area of Kebbi State, with modern 50-seater boats in order to alleviate the transportation disaster of the communities.

Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekwerenmadu, who presided over Senate plenary on Thursday, while reading the resolution of the Senate, also called on the Federal Government to assist the communities in blasting the big stones and cutting the big stones and cutting the big trees in the River that hinder safe navigation around the area.

“Senate also resolved to urge the Ministry of Transport through the National Inland Waterways Authority to immediately conduct a survey into the stretch of River Niger in the area with a view to putting safe navigational aid in place. The Senate also urge the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to assist the communities with relief materials in order to cushion the effect of disaster,” Ekwerenmadu said.

Earlier, the sponsor of the motion, the Deputy Senate Leader, Bala Ibn Na’Allah, representing Kebbi South Senatorial zone, said despite the sacrifice, by same communities resettled by the then Northern regional Government in order to build the current Kainji Dam to provide electricity for the country, “the communities are without drinking water and electricity. Only plank canoe is used to transport people through the river.”

He explained that the recent boat mishap in the area claimed 26 lives while some persons are still missing and unaccounted for in the River Niger.

He also said the incessant boat mishap and loss of lives in the Yauri end of River Niger, called for urgent need for the FG's intervention.

Na’Allah said despite this disturbing development, which has become an annual unfortunate occurrence; nothing has been done to prevent future reoccurrence.

He also expressed concern that many of the victims are not accounted for due to lack of manifest of passengers.

Adamu Aliero, Senator representing Kebbi Central, while contributing to the motion, said the communities have for long been suffering from serious environmental degradation as a result of their resettlement for the building of Kainji Dam.

He described the motion as very timely and apt in order to save lives and provision of water and electricity as well as relief materials to the victims of mishap in the area.

At least 136 people have been declared missing after a boat carrying some 150 people broke apart in a recent mishap in April, 2017, killing 26 people.

Earlier reports said the boat was carrying 50 traders from a market in Kebbi State when the accident occurred.

The sole administrator of Ngaski LGA, Garba Hassan, said eight people had so far died, thereby increasing the number of casualties. Survivors said the accident occurred towards the end of the 90-minute journey.

Hamza Dogonhaske, one of the survivors, said the boat broke into two, midway after hitting a stump. He said he could confirm that four female and three male passengers died.

“The boat was not speeding and had attempted to make emergency turn away from the stump,” he said.

“The wooden boat hit the stump and broke into two. Some us who know how to swim and nearby boats were able to rescue many who could not swim,” Dogonhaske said.

Source News Express

Posted 05/05/2017 1:48:32 PM





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