Local divers have recovered the remains of six out of the nine passengers involved in a boat accident at Zabarmari in the Jere Local Government Area of Borno State.
The News Agency of Nigeria reported that the incident occurred on Friday during a boat journey from Zabarmari to Dusuman Settlement.
The ward Head of Zabarmari, Bulama Maidamma, who comfirmed the incident, told NAN that two females and four males died while three passengers were rescued.
Maidamma said, “The two females boarded the boat from Budum area, some of them were heading for Dusuman for the Jummat prayers while others went to attend the funeral of a relative.”
He attributed the incident to the heavy wind with sandstorm which lasted for about 30 minutes on Friday.
“The boat capsized at the deeper point of the river. Most of them drowned because they could not swim and were not putting on life jackets.
“Consequently, we mobilised divers to go in search of them. They were able to rescue three passengers, including the driver on Friday.
“However, the search for the six others took us till Saturday evening when we eventually recovered their bodies,” he said.
A resident of Dusuman, Mallam Muhammed Labo, told NAN that his brother who was a GSM technician was among the victims.
Labo said his brother went for the funeral of a relative at Dusuman.
The North-East Zonal Coordinator, National Emergency Management Agency, Mr Bashir Garg, also confirmed the incident to NAN.
Garga said most of the passengers were returning from Jummat prayers when the incident happened on Friday.
The Head of Emergency Response, State Emergency Management Agency, Mallam Bello Danbatta, said the incident was reported late to the management.
Danbatta said the agency had mobilised its personnel to the scene to ascertain the cause of the incident.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Borno State Command, Mr Edet Okon, said he had yet to be briefed.