Benue Police Command said it had recovered 14 bodies from the Benue River boat mishap which occurred on Sunday.
Benue Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Catherine Anene, made this known in a statement on Tuesday in Makurdi.
The ill-fated boat had on board 23 members of Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) in Adeke community, Makurdi, when the incident happened.
Only two of the victims of the boat mishap were rescued. Anene said that 14 dead bodies were recovered while other victims were still missing.
“The tragic incident of 5/7/2020 kept the command searching and hoping that victims of the boat mishap would be rescued alive.
“Regrettably, a total of 14 corpses: 8 females and 6 males, were recovered from the river. Other victims still missing,” the police spokesperson said.
The Command commiserated with families of the deceased. We also prayed to God to grant them the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
“Members of the public are advised to employ all protective measures and caution while sailing, as the turbulent flow of water during the rainy season, can create unforeseen circumstances.
“The CP, while sympathizing with the bereaved, commended the frantic efforts made by sailors and communities around the river bank during the rescue operation.
“He urged them to educate their wards about the dangers of using waterways during this period”. Benue River
According to report, the boat was conveying mainly members of the ECAN Church Ijaha in Makurdi Local Government Area. They were going to a meeting across the river when it sank.
The canoe was filled beyond its capacity. The canoe, which had the capacity to carry not more than 15 passengers, was overloaded. The boat sank midstream and two people were rescued alive.