Daily Trust reports that some survivors and relatives of the ill-fated boat accident in Patigi Local Government Area of Kwara State have opened up about the sad incident as they recalled their experiences.
The incident which claimed 108 lives occurred in the wee hours of Monday while the victims were returning from a wedding ceremony.
According to one of the survivors, Muhammed Abdullahi, it was only the grace of Allah that ensured he survived the incident.
“There were over 150 of us that boarded the boat which took off around 2:00 am on Tuesday.
“Just about two minutes into the journey, the boat suddenly collapsed and we all found ourselves inside the river.
“But as Allah would have it, I found myself close to a tree inside the water which I held on to and climbed while others drowned,” Abdullahi added.
On his part, another survivor, Ibrahim Mohammed from Egbu village in Patigi with 62 casualties, the highest so far, his swimming skills came handy for him at the point of death.
“When the boat collapsed and we found ourselves inside the river, I swam out to the river bank.
“But I could not go in again because I was really exhausted.
“Some of our villagers who could also swim drowned while trying to save the women and children,” he added.
On his part, the father of one of the victims, Usman Abubakar, said his 15 years old son who also attended the ceremony perished in the incident.
“My son is a very hardworking person who has been assisting the family from his tailoring business. We are very devastated,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) yesterday said it had commenced investigation into the boat mishap which happened at Kpada Community in Patigi Local Government Area of Kwara State.
Director General of the NSIB, Engr Akin Olateru, said this was in line with enabling law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) ACT 2022 and the directive of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The NSIB is the autonomous multimodal investigation agency charged with the mandate to investigate air, rail, marine and other modes of transportation accidents and serious incidents in Nigeria.
Olateru said the investigation was aimed at identifying the probable causes and proffering safety recommendations that can prevent recurrences.
The DG stated that the bureau would be carrying out a lot of fact findings through crew and passenger interviews, working with relevant authorities to be able to determine the probable cause(s) of this accident.
“I will also like to use this medium to reach out to other local, state, federal agencies and other relevant stakeholders to maintain effective cooperation and collaboration so as to ensure transportation safety.
“The NSIB, hereby, solicits information from the public in the form of pictures, video or recording evidence to help assist in conducting a comprehensive investigation,” he said.