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29 Young Firewood Hawkers Drowned, Buried In Sokoto

Twenty-nine bodies of young firewood hawkers have been buried in Gidan Magana village in the Shagari local government area of Sokoto.

The hawkers died on Wednesday when their boat capsized in the Shagari River on their way to fetch firewood in Ela bush.

The funeral prayer was led by Musa Shagari and was attended by Deputy Governor Manniru Dan’iya.

Others included the Secretary to the State Government, Umar Sa’idum, and the member representing Shagari LG in the House of Assembly, Maidawa Kajiji.

Shortly after the burial, Governor Aminu Tambuwal arrived in the village from Abuja to commiserate with the bereaved families.

Mr Tamabuwal condoled with them and confirmed that 29 people died while six survived the unfortunate incident.

Village head Auwalu Magaji told the gathering that the 23 females, mostly young girls and six men, were on their way to fetch firewood they would sell.

Mr Magaji said fetching firewood was a major business engaged in by youths in the area, and they used a canoe to cross the Shagari River in their search for wood.

He added that the victims were among the second batch of firewood hawkers who left the village to the bush around 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday after the first batch had been dropped off in Ela bush.

Ali Muhammad, the father of one of the deceased, 12-year-old Rufaida, confirmed that she left in the morning to the Ela bush.

“I searched for her corpse and saw it among others. Rufaida has not been attending formal school as there is no primary school in the village. However, she was attending religious study classes, along with other children in the evening,” the father said.

A resident, Muhammad Danmaimota, described the incident as unfortunate and attributed it to poverty.

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