Thirty-eight people have been confirmed killed in a boat mishap in Nigeria’s northeastern state of Bauchi earlier this week.
In a statement reaching Xinhua in Abuja on Wednesday, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari described the accident as “a devastating tragedy not only for families of victims but also for the country”.
“I am profoundly touched by the death of these fellow Nigerians who had no idea they were embarking on their last journey,” Buhari said.
Local officials told Xinhua on Wednesday that the boat carrying 40 people capsized near Kuna village of Kirfi local government area of the state on Monday. Only two people were rescued.
Bappa Abdu Bara, the caretaker chairman of Kirfi local government area, told media in Bauchi that the victims, all farmers, were transporting themselves to their farms in a canoe when the incident occurred.
The state police and the state emergency management agency said a concerted investigation has been launched to ascertain the cause of the boat accident.