President Muhammadu Buhari has called on Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) member states along water channels to provide adequate measures for the safety of the passengers plying water routes in the sub-region.
The Nigerian president also sought for close monitor for boat operators along coastal lines in the sub-region.
President Buhari, who was represented by the Governor Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi State during a condolence visit to Niger Republic President, President Muhammad Yusuf, in Niamey, Niger Republic capital, noted that there was need for enforcement of safety jackets along the waterways.
It could be recalled that about 100 traders from Gaya and Dosso in Niger Republic were travelling to Lolo market, Bagudo local government area of Kebbi state through River Niger before their boat sunk and 53 got missing while 46 were rescued.
It was gathered in Niger Republic that after the incident, 82 traders were confirmed to be on board while 36 died, 16 passengers were not seen and 46 were rescued alive.
While condoning President Yusuf and Nigeriens, President Buhari said the Nigerian’s government and Kebbi State people were touched and saddened about the incident saying, “I am calling on all ECOWAS countries in charge of safety of water transportation to ensure adequate measures to regulate over speeding and overloading by boat operators as well as enforce the use of safety jackets.”
President Buhari prayed to Almighty Allah to grant the victims mercy and their families fortitude to bear the loss.
In his reaction, President of Niger Republic, Alhaji Muhammadu Yusuf, expressed his appreciation to President Buhari and the people of Nigeria over the incident.
Yusuf commended people in towns and villages along borders lane with his country stressed that they all did their best to rescue the victims.
He disclosed that President Buhari had called him on phone personally to extend his condolence and also sent high power delegations to through Kebbi State governor.
President Yusuf added that the two countries would continue to work together to strengthen unity, cooperation, understanding, friendliness and good neighbourhood.