A local canoe carrying 23 passengers capsized on Njuwa Lake, near Rugange village in Yola South Local Government Area, Adamawa State. As of the latest update, 17 individuals remain unaccounted for, leaving the community in shock and despair.
Eyewitness Faisal Dabo Rugange recounted the heart-wrenching incident, revealing that it unfolded earlier on a rainy Friday morning as the victims were en route to Yola town for their daily local business activities. “It was raining when the accident happened. A heavy windstorm blew water into the boat, and it capsized instantly,” Faisal stated.
Despite the dire situation, local divers and a larger boat that arrived at the scene managed to rescue only six of the passengers. Faisal pointed out the ongoing challenges faced by the Rugange community due to the recurring issue of water overflow along the River Benue and emphasized the urgent need for larger engine boats to ensure safer transportation across these waters.
Mohamed Suleiman, the Executive Secretary of the Adamawa State Emergency Management Agency, provided an official update on the incident, confirming one fatality, five individuals rescued, and a troubling 17 passengers who are still missing.
The Adamawa State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Suleiman Nguroje, disclosed that the police command had swiftly deployed Marine police officers to aid in the ongoing rescue operation. As the operation continues, the exact number of passengers on board the ill-fated canoe remains uncertain, further highlighting the urgency and complexity of the situation.