Four family members who boarded a canoe from Hayin Maciji to Rafin Guza in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna state met their waterloo when the canoe conveying them capsized killing four of them instantly.
Confirming the incident to newsmen in the area yesterday, the Sarkin Rafi, Alhaji Dauda Abdullahi, blamed the paddler of the canoe for the unfortunate incidence.
According to him, the said peddler, Zubairu Yusuf, who is known to be drug addict and has engaged in that habit for a long time now.
“Yes, it is true that we lost four passengers at the river. Although people will say it is the will of God, but to me, I am very annoyed because it was the carelessness and disobedience of the said Zubairu Yusuf, who they popularly called General, that sent this people to their early graves.
“We have a law that no canoe should convey more than five passengers in a trip but because of disobedience and influence of drugs, peddlers such as Zubairu will disobey this order and take as many as 10 to 17 passengers in a trip. This is overloading and makes paddling the canoe difficult, more so when the paddler is under drug influence.
“I have personally discussed it with our District Head in Rigachuku and our ward Head in Rifin Guza on the way forward, but the problem drug addiction and fighting keeps escalating among our youths. When my attention was drawn on an accident on the river, I rushed back to the river side and very painfully saw that it is the same Zubairu who killed 2 other passengers sometimes last year. And as we begin to search and rescue the victims he disappeared and as I am talking to you, nobody knows his whereabout.
“I want the government to come to our rescue, to help to check the problem of drug addicts in our area because we have a lot of people like Zubairu in our midst and unless we stop this accident will continue unchecked,” Alhaji Abdullahi said.
When contacted the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Kaduna State Command, SP Aminu Lawan said he is still awaiting full details from the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Rigachikun division, but promised that any culprits will be brought to justice.