Nigeria leader urges rescue effort after boat tragedies

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.
Image: Getty images

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari urged local officials on Monday to "step up" efforts to find survivors of two deadly boat accidents over the weekend, his office said.

Dozens of passengers were feared dead or missing on Sunday when their overcrowded boat capsized in central Benue state, police said.

On Friday, seven people were confirmed dead in Ikorodu outside the economic hub of Lagos when their boat sank following heavy rain, according to the state-run emergency agency LASEMA.

"Buhari has commiserated with the families of victims of recent boat mishaps on inland waterways in Benue and Lagos states," his office said in a statement.

Describing their deaths as "sad and unfortunate," the Nigerian leader also offered condolences to both states.

He advised boat passengers to adhere strictly to safety regulations to prevent avoidable accidents and loss of lives and property.

"Such a call has become imperative in view of prevailing Covid-19 guidelines against overcrowding and night travels," he said.