Barely two weeks after a boat mishap claimed over 70 lives in Karim-Lamido Local Government Area in Taraba State, over 20 people said to be fishermen on Monday lost their lives after a boat capsized around Anyiin, in River Benue.
Taraba State Water Transportation Chairman, Jidda Suleiman, told our Correspondent that the incident happened between Chinkai of Benue and the Anyeci area of Wukari local government area of the state.
“The boat was conveying fishermen, comprising people from Ibi, and Wukari local government areas of Taraba. I was informed that the fishermen converged and boarded the boat to Kwara state in search of greener pasture, and along the way, they had an accident and over twenty people died. Twelve people out of the dead bodies are from Ibi while some are from Gareji, in Gindin Doruwa, Wukari LGA of Taraba.
“It has been a tradition of our fishermen from Taraba that, once December, some will travel to Cameroon, some to Chad and other places like that to fish till August of the following year.
“It is unfortunate that the usual tradition turned sorrowful this time. I wish to appeal to both the state and federal government to assist us with life jackets, which is the only solution to averting similar incidents”, Jidda narrated.
While reacting, Taraba state governor, Dr. Agbu Kefas has condoled with families of victims of the Monday boat mishap in Ibi local government area of the state.
Mr Emmanuel Bello, the Special Adviser to governor Kefas on media and digital communication, quoted the governor as describing the incident as most worrisome since it is coming barely a week after a similar incident that claimed over 70 lives in Karim-Lamido local area of the state.
According to the statement, Kefas while praying to God to grant the souls of the departed eternal rest, disclosed that the state government was already working out modernities to end future occurrences of boat mishaps in Taraba.
“Today’s boat incident is even more unfortunate since it comes on the heels of a similar one in Karim Lamido that threw the state into mourning. It is heartbroken, however, I wish to appeal that the government is already on top of the situation as various investigations are underway to unravel the remote causes of boat mishaps in the state.
“I would soon personally tour the affected areas to meet with local stakeholders in the waterways transport sectors to ensure that the water transport system is safe for passengers. Measures are in place to face out old boats and introduce the compulsory use of life jackets among other life-saving measures”. Gov. Kefas mourned.