Umar Muhammed, Lafia


Seven people were feared dead in a canoe accident in Gwayaka River in the Lafia East Development Area of Nasarawa State on Friday.

The incident came barely a year after four people died in a canoe accident in the Ashangwa area of the Lafia East Development Area of the state.

An eyewitness, told The PUNCH that the victims, who were mostly farmers from Kano, were returning from their farms when the canoe capsized.

He said the canoe was overloaded with over 20 passengers and the helmsman told some of them to disembark to enable him to paddle across the water and come back for them. But this reportedly was not heeded by the passengers who were eager to cross the river as it was getting dark.

“The helmsman, out of anger,  abandoned the canoe and one of the passengers started paddling it across the river. Suddenly, the canoe capsized in the middle of the river and seven of the passengers went missing, while the others came out alive,” the eyewitness stated.

He said as of Monday, three dead bodies out of the seven missing had been recovered.

The overseer of the Lafia East Development Area, Mr Shuiabu Zanwa, who confirmed the incident to our correspondent, said efforts were on to recover the remaining bodies.

He said a security meeting with the communities along the river bank would be held to avoid more boat accidents in the area.

Copyright PUNCH.