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29, mostly children, drowned in Sokoto boat accident

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Twenty-nine persons including a bride-to-be have died in a boat mishap that occurred on Wednesday in Shagari River at Gidan Magana in Shagari…

The victims, mostly children between nine and 17 years old, were crossing the river to a nearby bush to fetch firewood which they sold in their community.
Findings revealed that there were 35 of them in the boat when it capsized around 8am.
The village head of Gidan Magana, Malam Muhammadu Auwal, who lost five of his children in the mishap, said the deceased were 23 females and six males.
He, however, said six of the passengers were rescued alive.
“You know the kind of situation we are in. There is a serious shortage of firewood which we use to cook our meals. The children used to go to the nearby bush across the river to fetch firewood for their parents while some of them sold it to get some money.
“The incident happened shortly after the boat took off. The sailor lost control because of strong water waves and the boat capsized,” Auwal said tears flowing down his face.
He explained that the tragedy occurred when many of the elderly people in the village were resting at home after the dawn prayer.
“I was already asleep when some youth came to my house to inform me about the accident. I mobilised the people of my community, including our local divers but before we got there, many of the children have died.
“I lost five of my children and two younger sisters of my wives. I also lost my niece whose wedding was fixed for one week after Sallah.
“This is the greatest tragedy that has ever happened in our community. We pray Allah to grant their souls eternal rest and give us the fortitude to bear the loss,” Auwal added.
Aliyu Muhammad who lost a 12-year-old daughter, Rufaida, in the accident said his child was healthy before she left for the bush.
“I was going to the farm when my wife told me that my daughter was going to fetch firewood for us.
“When I was coming back, I heard people shouting and screaming for help that a boat had capsized in our river.
“When I reached home my younger children told me that Rufaida was among those on board the canoe, so I rushed to the riverside only for me to meet her lifeless body lying by the river bank,” he said in an emotion-laden voice.
The Chairman of Shagari LGA, Aliyu Abubakar Dantani, said he heard about the accident from the councillor representing Dande Mahe and he immediately called the divisional police officer and they came to the village together.
“We counted 28 bodies at the scene of the incident and they are all from the same village,” he said.
According to him, this was not the first time such an accident was recorded in his area as around June last year, a total of 13 people, including women, were killed in a similar circumstance at Gangi village which is just five kilometres from this village.
The deceased were given a mass burial in accordance with Islamic rites around 4pm.
Condoling with the residents of the village, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, who was accompanied by his deputy, Manir Dan’iya; the state chairman of PDP, Bello Goronyo, and some commissioners, prayed Allah to grant the deceased Jannatul Firdaus.
Three victims of the boat mishap, Asma’u, Na’ima and Hadiza, 10, 9 and 8 years old, respectively, told Daily Trust how they survived the accident.
Asma’u, said after the boat capsized, she started swimming to the river bank before she was rescued by her elder brother.
While Na’ima and Hadiza, said they were rescued by local divers.
Asma’u however listed some of her friends who did not survive the mishap.

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Thugs allegedly loyal to Governor Wike attack Rivers PDP presidential campaign boss’ residence, destroy vehicles

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Political thugs allegedly working for the Rivers state governor, Mr Nyesom Wike have invaded the residence of former Rivers South-East Senator, Lee Maeba.

The house located at GRA, Phase 3 axis in Port Harcourt, Rivers State was invaded by thugs on Thursday morning.

Maeba is the chairman of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council in the state.

A source said the hoodlums, allegedly loyal to Governor Wike, destroyed many cars, including an SUV, while occupants of the house including Senator Maeba’s relations fled the scene.

It was learnt that the hoodlums also shot indiscriminately and injured some occupants of the building during the attack.

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“About 200 hoodlums loyal to Governor Wike attacked the residence of Senator Lee Maeba this morning. They destroyed vehicles and injured some occupants,” the source said.

Since Governor Wike lost the presidential ticket of the party to the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the party has been factionalised.

This followed allegations made by the governor that the National Chairman of the PDP, Senator Iyorchia Ayu manipulated the process to favour Atiku, a fellow northerner.

He subsequently asked Ayu to resign from office but the national chairman has refused to do so amid the attendant crisis in the party ahead of the 2023 general elections.

The Wike-led Rivers government earlier revoked the ownership of a landed property belonging to Maeba in Port Harcourt.

When contacted, DSP Grace Woyengikuro Iringe-Koko, spokesperson for the state police command said she wasn’t aware of the incident.

SR

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Over 100 injured in Spanish train collision

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At least 150 people have been injured after two trains collided in the Catalonia region of north-eastern Spain, emergency services have said.

The crash, which occurred around 07:50 (06:50 GMT), took place at a station on the outskirts of Barcelona.

Local media reported that the trains had been travelling in the same direction and collided while one was parked at the station.

It is unclear how the accident happened and officials have yet to comment.

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Emergency officials wrote on Twitter that the crash happened at the Montcada i Reixac – Manresa station, about 12km (7 miles) from the city centre.

Writing on Twitter, emergency services said that 150 people were “in a mild condition” and five others had been left with “in a less serious condition”.

They added that three people had been transferred to hospital.

Train traffic was briefly disrupted on several lines due to the accident, the national rail service Renfe said.

One passenger told RAC1, a local radio station, that “train was full and my carriage, which was the last one, was completely full” at the time of the collision.

BBC News
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ICPC Arraigns Rector, others over N6m fraud

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The Rector, Samuel Timi Johnson and the Acting Bursar, Werepere Martins Degbegha of the International Institute of Tourism and Hospitality, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, as well as one Yerikema Tony Tombra have been arraigned for their complicity in a Six Million Naira (N6,000,000) fraud.

The defendants were brought before Honorable Justice M.A Ayemieye of High Court 2, sitting in Yenagoa, by ICPC, on allegations bordering on ‘using office to confer corrupt advantage, conspiracy & making false statement.’

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ICPC, in a 7-count charge, is accusing the Rector and the Acting Bursar of conspiring and using their offices to confer corrupt advantage on themselves when they withdrew the above sum from the confers of the institute under the guise of spending the money on renovations of a viewing centre in Tropani Community while investigation revealed otherwise.

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