by Linda Ikeji
No fewer than 21 people are feared dead after a canoe they were travelling in capsized in River Benue.
The boat was conveying mainly members of the ECAN Church Ijaha in Makurdi Local Government Area to a meeting across the river when it sank at Kwaghtan Sule in Guma LGA on Sunday, July 5.
According to reports, the canoe was filled beyond its capacity. The canoe which had a capacity to carry not more than 15 passengers was overloaded.
The boat sank midstream and 2 people were rescued alive. Local fishermen and policemen are still searching for other passengers.
A statement by the State Police Command signed by the Public Relations Officer, Deputy Superintendent, DSP, Catherine Anene indicated that 21 people were missing in the mishap that occurred at about 2:30pm.
The statement read in part: “We received information at about 2:30pm Sunday that 23 members of ECAN Church Ijaha, Makurdi Local Government boarded a Boat to attend a conference across River Benue, at the midstream, the boat sank. Marine Police search party were deployed to the scene where two persons were rescued alive while 21 persons are still missing.”