Benue Boat Mishap: 20 Missing
…Ortom Calls For Construction Of Bridge Over River Katsina-Ala
From Msughshima Andrew, Makurdi
Tragedy, Wednesday, struck the people of Logo local government area of Benue state when a boat conveying 20 people and some motor bikes across River Katsina Ala at Buruku point capsized.
Information made available to newsmen in Makurdi said the 20 people were on their way to attend a burial when their boat capsized.
Meanwhile Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has sympathized with families of victims of the boat mishap at the Buruku crossing point of River Katsina-Ala.
In aEye witnesses said the boat which left Logo at about 8pm on Wednesday capsized at the Buruku side of the river, drowning over 20 passengers.
Governor Ortom who was represented by Secretary to the State Government, Professor Anthony Ijohor, SAN, visited the scene of the incident accompanied by Chairmen of Buruku and Logo local government areas, some commissioners and special advisers.
He described the boat mishap as unfortunate and painful, stressing that a similar incident which claimed 17 lives occurred at the same point 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.
“His Excellency, Governor Samuel Ortom and his Deputy Engineer Benson Abounu are deeply saddened by this unfortunate incident, and the Government of Benue State will ensure that the victims are given the necessary support. Our appeal is that the Federal Government should construct a bridge here at the Buruku crossing point of River Katsina-Ala to put an end to the frequent loss of lives”, Processor Ijohor stated.
He directed that the bodies which had so far been recovered be deposited at the morgue of General Hospital Buruku while government would assist in the burial.
Mue Ter Ichongu, Chief Terngu Iorhuna from Logo who spoke on behalf of the affected communities, thanked Governor Ortom for his prompt response, saying the people of the area were consoled by his visit.
In an interview, Chairman of 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.
At the time of filing this report, only three corpses and 18 motorcycles have been recovered by the rescue team.