Boat mishap: Kebbi arrests canoe operator
The Kebbi State Government has arrested a boat operator/driver for overload, following recent cases of boat and canoes mishaps in Yauri and Lolo in Bagudu Council.Two traders were confirmed to have drowned in the River Niger at Tahoe village in Yauri Council.
Briefing newsmen yesterday in his office, Chairman of the state Emergency Management Agency, Alhaji Sani Dododo, said the arrest became necessary because the operator ignored warnings against overloading his boat.
He explained that government had enacted a law against operators/drivers carrying over 50 passenger in a canoe.Dododo said the two victims, a Fulani woman and an elderly man from Binua village were on their way to a market in Yauri when the canoe capsized, two days after 18 worshippers drowned in the same river in Yauri.
He said the canoe was carrying 11 people from Binua, a village close to the market, when the water current, accompanied by strong wind, forced the canoe to capsize, adding.
He blamed the man paddling the canoe for not heeding the warning of the inland waterways officials not to embark on the journey, given the weather conditions at the time, noting: “He was arrested and charged to court. So, he is in prison, pending the outcome of the ruling. Let this one served as an example to others.”
He explained that the government was ready to provide operator and passengers with life jackets to reduce fatalities as a result of boats capsizing.
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