UN chief condoles Nigeria on boat tragedy

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The United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, on Wednesday, expressed condolences to Nigeria over the boat mishap, which occurred in Kwara State.

The boat, carrying around 250 passengers travelling from a wedding celebration, capsized in the early hours of Monday morning in North-Central Kwara state, police and local officials said.

The boat accident according to reports, led to the death of over 100 people, who were wedding guests at Egbu village in Patigi Local Government Area of the state.

Spokesman for the Secretary-General, Mr Stéphane Dujarric stated this at a news conference at UN headquarters in New York.

“I can tell you that we, along with our UN team in Nigeria, have expressed our heartfelt condolences to the families of those who died in the tragic capsized boat accident on the Niger River, many of them women and children.

“Our hearts go out to all people and the Government of Nigeria in this hard time,’’ he said.

Similarly, Dujarric said Guterres recalled the horrific numbers of deaths that took place in the Mediterranean [in 2022] as counted by the International Organisation for Migration.

“Today, we have yet another tragic illustration.

“I can tell you that the secretary-general was horrified by the reports of a shipwreck that took place off the coast of Greece, taking the lives of scores of women, men and children.

“He stressed, as he said before, that every person looking for a better life needs dignity and safety.

“This is yet another example of the need for Member States to come together and create orderly safe pathways for people forced to flee and for comprehensive action to save lives at sea and reduce perilous journeys,’’ he said.

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