Due to a boat capsizing tragedy in Nigeria, more than 100 people have drowned while returning home from a wedding ceremony. The boat was carrying families and wedding guests from Niger State into Kwara State in Nigeria when the accident happened. Local police and the Kwara Governor’s office have confirmed the incident. Overloading, lax safety procedures, and heavy flooding during rainy seasons have caused several river capsizes in Nigeria, and this incident is one of the latest. The death toll is likely to increase as rescue efforts are still ongoing.
Nigeria’s National Inland Waterways Authority has tried to ban night-time sailing and overloading, but skippers and crews often ignore these regulations. River travel is common in Nigeria for transportation and trade, primarily due to poor road infrastructure and kidnapping for ransom along some highways.
Former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, expressed his condolences to the families of the deceased and the government and good people of Kwara State. He called for a deeper reflection on the need to improve the nation’s infrastructure, especially inland waterways and inter-state linkages to forestall such unfortunate incidences that have become a prevalent occurrence recently. He also emphasized the need to install life jackets commensurate with the number of passengers on boats to prevent such events from happening in the future.
River accidents are undoubtedly common in Nigeria, and it is saddening that tragedies like these claim many lives. Here is a timeline of some of the most significant boat accidents that happened in Nigeria, according to the BBC:
– August 2017: 20 people died when a boat carrying 60 people capsized in the north-western state of Sokoto.
– July 2017: At least 14 people drowned when a boat carrying 22 traders from the Niger Republic capsized on the River Niger in the north-western state of Kebbi.
– In August 2012, 17 people died and dozens were reported missing after a boat capsized in Ogun State.