No fewer than 20 passengers are believed to have drowned after a boat accident on River Katsina-Ala in Benue State.
Eyewitnesses said the boat carrying over 20 passengers and up to 17 motorcycles left Logo Local Government around 8 pm on Wednesday but capsized at the Buruku crossing point of River Katsina-Ala.
The Chairman of the Benue Motorcycle Association, Ugonduzua branch, which lost 17 members in the incident, Mr Felix Ikyaajime, said they were heading for a burial in Buruku when the boat capsized.
Rescue operations have been ongoing and so far, three corpses and 18 motorcycles had been recovered.
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has sympathised with families of victims of the tragedy.
Governor Ortom, represented by Secretary to the State Government, Professor Anthony Ijohor (SAN), visited the scene of the incident on Thursday along with the Chairmen of Buruku and Logo local government areas, some commissioners and special advisers.
He described the boat accident as unfortunate and painful, recalling that a similar incident had claimed 17 lives five years ago.
The Governor called on the Federal Government to construct a bridge across the Buruku axis of River Katsina-Ala in order to prevent the loss of more lives.
Stressing that both he and his deputy, Benson Abounu, “are deeply saddened by this unfortunate incident”, the governor promised that the state government “will ensure that the victims are given the necessary support”.