The Governor of Niger State, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu has commiserated with the Government and people of Kogi state over last weekend boat disaster that claimed the lives of over 30 people along river Niger adding that none of the victims was Nigerlite.
Aliyu, who made this clarification in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary Mr. Israel Ebije said the unfortunate travellers were all traders from Abugi in Lokoja Local Government Area of Kogi state.
The Governor while refuting reports which stated that victims of last weekend boat disaster were from Niger state called for more care and protective measure to mitigate mishaps.
“As Nigerians and haven had bitter experience of deaths recorded in Niger state over boat accidents, I share the pains of the unfortunate travellers, even though none of them was from Niger state.
“I commiserate with the Government and people of Kogi state over the tragedy, but there is need for travellers to avoid night journeys because visibility is always challenging at night.
“The tide is rising to its peak as the rains continues to fall. It is better to travel when visibility is within official requirement for shuttle boat travel.
“I am indeed saddened by the death on account of boat disaster along the river Niger. For me, nobody deserves to die that way. It is even more worrisome that some passengers do not ask for swimming vests. I have made it compulsory that boat travellers in Niger put on vests each time they travel,” he said.
He urged travellers and boat operators in the country to be more careful adding that water transportation could be dangerous as no one has control over the tides or the wind. Objects are pushed into the routes of unsuspecting boat operators which often leads to loss of lives.
Governor Aliyu further urged boat operators to always make sure they have hired rescue experts on-board at each shuttle trip just in case disaster strikes, adding that “Casualty figure will reduce drastically if precautionary measures are put in place”.