Kebbi State Government has said it will from now, strictly regulate marine transportation in the state in furtherance of efforts to safeguarding lives and property of commuters.
“Consequently, a law is underway to enforcing safety measures in the operations of boat and canoes, plying waterways,” it said.
Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu made this public during a visit to Warrah headquarters of Ngaski Local Government to condoling and sympathizing with the inhabitants on the tragic boat mishap that led to the death of more than 76 people including women and children as well as others prospecting for gold.
Twenty two people survived the accident among whom were Maryam Sani, Alka Ladan and Zainab Adamu Ananga who narrated the ugly tale to the Governor.
Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu was informed that the ill-fated boat originated from Lokon, Minna in Niger State heading to Warrah, Kebbi State bearing above one hundred passengers onboard, departing by seven o’clock in the morning for the trip expected to last two hours but was not to be.
The governor prescribed that with immediate effect, operators of engine boats and canoes must provide life jackets to all passengers whose statistics must also be recorded for identification, while boats and canoes must respect capacity limit and avoid overloading and night travel.
Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu who condoled with the entire Warrah community, the Emir of Yauri and the families of the victims vowed to ensuring safety of marine transportation by closer monitoring and offering the necessary support to the sector.
Before departure the Governor donated more than eleven million naira to the families of those who lost their lives as well as to defray cost of search and rescue, commending all volunteers who partook in the rescue operation.
At the bank of the river Niger at Warrah, the governor addressed hundreds of people and gold miners condoling them on the calamity and assured them of continued government’s support.
Spokesman of the artisanal gold miners, Mansur Sani Bakura from Zamfara state told the governor that, they have temporarily suspended operation in the area, in respect of the victims and thanked the Federal Government for providing enabling environment to them to function lawfully.
Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu also listened to contributions from Sarkin Kwata, Alhaji Hassan Jamilu, Sarkin Ruwa Alhaji Umar Mohammed Warrah, the surviving Maryam Sani, Alka Ladan Warrah and Zainab Adamu Ananga on the fatal boat journey.
In separate remarks, the Member Representing Ngaski constituency, Hon. Adamu BB Birnin-Yauri, Chairman of Ngaski Local Government, Alhaji Abdullahi Buhari Warrah and S.A SEMA Alhaji Sani Dododo as well as the District Head of Warrah, Sarkin Maginga, Alhaji AbdulMalik Nuhu commended the Governor for his prompt response to the mishap and financial assistance to the victims.
The governor was also at the palace of the Emir of Yauri, Dr. Zayyanu Abdullahi on similar condolence visit during which the Emir requested the Federal and State Governments to dredge river Niger to clear obstacles inimical to marine transportation.