Buhari charges ECOWAS on safety of water transportation
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday charged members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in charge of water transportation to provide adequate safety for the passengers who travel by water.
He stated this when he paid a condolence visit to the President of Niger Republic, Muhammad Yusuf at Niamey, noting that there was need for enforcement of safety jackets.
The Guardian learnt that about 100 traders from Gaya and Dosso in Niger Republic were travelling to Lolo market, Bagudo local council of Kebbi state through River Niger before their boat capsized in which 53 passengers got missing while 46 were rescued.
It was gathered that after the incident, 82 traders were confirmed on board while 36 died. Also, 16 passengers were not seen and 46 were rescued alive.
Buhari, who was represented by the Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Abaubakar Bagudu, while condoling Yusuf and Nigeriens, said the Nigerian government and Kebbi people were touched and saddened by the incident.
“I am calling on all ECOWAS countries in charge of safety of water transportation to ensure adequate measures to regulate over speeding and overloading by boat operators, as well as enforce the use of safety jackets,” he stated.
He then prayed to Almighty Allah to grant the victim’s mercy and their families the fortitude to bear the loss.
Responding, Yusuf expressed appreciation to President Buhari and the people of Nigeria over the incident.
Yusuf commended people of towns and villages along the borderline, stressing that they all did their best to rescue the victims.
He disclosed that President Buhari had called him on telephone personally to extend his condolences and also sent a delegation through Kebbi State governor.
President Yusuf added that the two countries would continue to work together to strengthen unity, cooperation, understanding, friendliness and good neighborhood.
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