Divers in Gbajibo, a community in Mokwa LGA of Niger State, have successfully recovered six additional bodies from the water, bringing the total death toll to 26 individuals following a boat mishap. This tragic incident, initially reported by SK Blog, occurred on a Sunday morning, leaving many others still missing.
Among the victims, 16 were siblings who were embarking on a journey to their farm when the ill-fated boat collided with an underwater obstacle. Hajiya Kashi Mokwa, a member of the bereaved family, recounted the harrowing experience in a phone interview with Daily Trust correspondent.
“We are devastated by this mishap. Losing 16 members of your family is an unimaginable disaster, and it has befallen us. They were on their way to the farm when the boat tragically struck an underwater stump,” she shared.
Mokwa emphasized the increased risk due to rising water levels caused by heavy rainfall, which obscured these hazards from view. She pleaded for government intervention, as boat mishaps have become an all-too-frequent occurrence in the region, inflicting trauma upon countless families.
“The government needs to come to our aid. Boat mishaps have become too frequent. This has been a traumatic experience for me and the rest of my family. When you lose 16 family members at once, the pain is beyond description. If the government intends to provide relief support, it should come directly to us,” she urged.
Furthermore, Mokwa highlighted the critical need for adequate life jackets, dispelling misconceptions that the community is reluctant to use them. She stressed that the life jackets provided by the government were insufficient for the local population’s needs.
The victims included both children and women, and given the community’s heavy reliance on water transport to access their farms, the plea for government assistance resonates with urgency. Mokwa concluded her statement with a heartfelt request, “Government, please help us, for the sake of Allah.”
As the community mourns the loss of their loved ones, they look to authorities for support and solutions to prevent such tragedies from recurring in the future.