No fewer than seven persons died in a boat mishap at Zhigiri village, Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger.
This is contained in a statement issued on Tuesday by Mr. Silas Saba, the spokesperson of Coalition of Shiroro Associations (COSA) made available to journalists in Minna on Tuesday night.
Saba, who decried the current challenges caused by the establishment of the Zungeru hydroelectric power dam in the community, said that the incident occurred at 4 p.m. on Sunday.
He said that the incident occurred when the villagers were sailing to Dnaweto; a neighbouring village in the hinterland for a naming ceremony.
The spokesperson of the group said that a man, Muazu Babangida, lost his two wives and a son in the mishap.
“Prior to the construction of Zungeru Dam, traveling between these two villages was by land and need not water transportation, as the terrain was majorly dry and motorable.
“This is one of the social upheaval occasioned by the construction of the dam,” he said.
He said that the villagers had yet to recover the body of one of the affected victims from the river.
Saba called on Hydro-electric Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPPADEC) to respond to the incident by providing safety measures such as life jackets and standard boats, among others, to help the people to adapt to their new way of life of water transportation.
He said that providing these measures and sensitising the people to the use of the waterway would prevent and minimise the future occurrence.
The public relations office of the Niger State Emergency Management Agency could not be reached at the time of filing this report.
In the same vein, the Niger State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA) says only the driver and a lady survived the boat mishap that occurred on Sunday at Zhigiri village, Shiroro Local Government Area of the state.
Alhaji Ahmed Inga, the Director-General of the agency, told the newsmen in Minna on Wednesday that the bodies of the seven victims of the mishap had also been recovered.
He said the mishap occurred while the boat was sailing to Dnaweto, a neighbouring village in the hinterland, for a naming ceremony.
Inga said that the passengers of the boat were nine and they took off from Zhijigiri village to Dnaweto village.
He said that the boat sailed on the water from the ongoing construction of the Zungeru hydroelectric power dam.
“The boat driver and a lady survived while seven-person lost their lives to the unfortunate incident.
“The bodies of the deceased have been recovered and buried”, he said.
In the meantime, the Kano State Fire Service has confirmed the death of a 45-year-old tanker driver, Dahiru Aliyu, at Hotoro NNPC depot.
The confirmation is contained in a statement issued by the Public Relations Officer of the Service, Alhaji Saminu Abdullahi on Tuesday.
“The incident happened on Monday morning.
“We received a distress call from one Shu’aibu Muhammad at about 10.59 a.m., and we sent our rescue team to the scene immediately,’’ he stated.
He added that Aliyu entered one of the compartments with a container and foam to mop up spilled fuel when he got suffocated and died.
“The petrol tanker has DKD 411 XF as its registration number,’’ Abdullahi stated.