Niger State has somberly laid to rest ten victims of last Thursday's tragic boat accident, a solemn ceremony conducted in accordance with Islamic rites," shared the Niger State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA) on Monday.
Disturbingly, among the deceased were eight innocent children, their final resting place marked by a shared mass grave.
The incident unfolded when a boat, carrying a total of 34 individuals, including ten children, capsized during its journey from the Zangoro Bassa/Kukoki Ward terminal to Gijiwa/Kato Ward terminal in the Shiroro Local Government Area.
The tragic event occurred on Thursday of the previous week, casting a pall over the community.
In an attempt to shed light on the calamity, NSEMA provided an update on Monday, attributing the capsizing of the boat to a combination of factors, including water hyacinth, strong waves, and grafting trees. The confluence of these elements led to the heartbreaking loss of lives.
According to NSEMA's findings, the victims, primarily traders, were en route from the Zongoru community of Bassa Ward to Gijiwa, with the intention of participating in the Friday market in Kuta, the headquarters of Shiroro Local Government Area.
The tragic incident unfolded, claiming ten lives, with the victims identified as Farida Muntari, Sharhabila Sagir, Abubakar Sadiq, Na’ima Ibrahim, Amina, Safaratu Ibrahim, Sadiq Ibrahim, Rafiya Yakubu, and two unidentified individuals.
Expressing the gravity of the situation, Salihu Garba, the Director of Relief and Rehabilitation at NSEMA, stated, “Ten lives were lost, including Farida Muntari, Sharhabila Sagir, Abubakar Sadiq, Na’ima Ibrahim, Amina, Safaratu Ibrahim, Sadiq Ibrahim, Rafiya Yakubu, and two unidentified victims." This quote serves as a stark reminder of the human toll exacted by the calamity.
Further insight into the tragic incident revealed that the ill-fated boat had six drivers, namely Dahiru Yusuf, Sa’idu Shu’aibu, Ahmadu Garba, Sa’idu Garba, Abdulaziz Yahaya, and Lukuman Sani.
These individuals, who were part of the ill-fated journey, now join the list of those affected by the unfortunate accident.
However, amidst the sorrow, there were survivors who managed to escape the clutches of tragedy. Among them are individuals like Surajo Ibrahim (Zangoro), Ibrahim Wakili Nababa (Zangoro), Yahaya Yahuza (Zangoro), Murtala Sarki (Zangoro), Yakubu Hamza (Zangoro), and Sahabi Abdullahi (Zangoro).
Their survival stands as a testament to the resilience of the human spirit even in the face of adversity.
As the community grapples with the aftermath of this heartbreaking incident, the echoes of grief linger, and the collective hope remains for strength and healing in the face of such profound loss.