Benue boat mishap, 13 feared drowned in the unfortunate incident.

Benue boat mishap

Benue boat mishap, 13 feared drowned in the unfortunate incident.

No fewer than 13 persons have been feared drowned after a boat conveying mourners and market women capsized midway on River Katsina-Ala near the Abuku/Buruku harbour crossing point in Benue State.

  It was gathered that the overloaded ferry with motorcycles was peopled by sympathisers from Gonduzua, Logo Local Council who were on tour of Buruku, a neighbouring area, and market women from Ugba Market in same local government.

  An eyewitness, popularly called coach, alleged that those paddling the boat were drunk and that could have resulted in the unfortunate incident.

   The spokesman for the state police command, DSP Moses Yamu, confirmed the death of 13, adding that rescue operation was ongoing.

  A similar incident had occurred in 2012 when 17 persons returning from a picnic died at same point.

 However, the Special Adviser to Governor Samuel Ortom on Religious Affairs and Civil Society, Reverend Jacob Aernyi, has sympathised with the bereaved families.

  He told newsmen in Makurdi that he got wind of the information through the secretary of Buruku River Workers’ Union, Samuel Nakombo.

  Describing the incident as unfortunate, the aide tasked the Federal Government on proactive measures.

  He said more than 20 passengers were still missing while 17 Bajaj tricycles are yet to be recovered.

 Nakombo regretted the continued loss of lives and property on the river, saying it is high time measures were taken to check the menace.

  He, therefore, called on the Federal Government to construct a firm bridge at the scene of the mishap to prevent future occurrences.