Over 100 wedding guests dead as boat capsizes in Kwara

No fewer than 100 people have reportedly died in a boat accident in Egbu village, in the Patigi Local Government Area of Kwara state.

The deceased persons were said to be returning from a marriage ceremony at neighbouring Egboti village in Niger State before the incident occurred. They were said to have taken off from Kpada village.

It was gathered that about 50 bodies had so far been recovered from the scene of the incident, thus turning the entire community in mourning mood.

It was also gathered the tempest from the river tossed the boat around, making it to hit a tree. The boat capsised thereafter.

Another account said that no fewer than 300 passengers on a return trip from the event were on board the ill-fated boat.

The breakdown of the number of the deceased includes 69 from Egbu village; 36 from Gakpan village and four from Kpada village in the Patigi local government area of the state.

Speaking with The Nation, the Kwara State command spokesperson, Ajayi Okasanmi, confirmed the incident.

He added that the command had dispatched the Divisional Police Officer of local government to the area.

He said that there was “A scanty report of a boat that capsized carrying about 100 people in a village in Patigi local government area of the state; I will give you more details on the incident as soon as I get more information.”

Meanwhile, Kwara State Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq has expressed dismay over the sad news.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, on Tuesday, the governor commiserated with families of the victims and members of the community where the incident occurred.

He expressed deep sadness over the unfortunate incident, which claimed scores of lives.

The statement read, “The Governor is sad to receive reports of the boat accident involving several people, particularly residents of Ebu, Dzakan, Kpada, Kuchalu, and Sampi — all in Patigi.

“The Governor sends his heartfelt condolences to the people of these communities and those from other states. He prays to Almighty Allah to repose the souls of the victims.

The statement added that the governor will continue to monitor ongoing rescue efforts, hoping that there will be some survivors.

He added, “The Governor, meanwhile, continues to monitor the rescue efforts already mounted since Monday night in search of possible survivors.

Speaking further, Abdulrazaq commended the traditional leader of the community and local authorities for their promptness in launching rescue operations.

“He commends the alertness of the Etsu Patigi, His Royal Highness Alhaji Ibrahim Umar Bologi II, and other local government authorities for the efforts to save as many people as possible who may have survived the mishap”, the statement said.

By Temitope Hassan