Reverend Jacob Aernyi, the special adviser to Benue governor on religious affairs and civil society, has sympathised with the families of victims of a boat mishap, in which no fewer than 20 persons were missing. Aernyi told newsmen that he got details of the incident on Thursday, October 25, in his office in Makurdi through the secretary, Buruku River Workers’ Union, Samuel Nakombo.

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He described the incident at River Buruku, where many lives and property were lost as very unfortunate and called for more proactive measures by the federal government. The special adviser said a boat conveying more than 20 passengers and carrying some Bajaj motorcycles was sailing in the evening of Wednesday, October 24, when the ugly incident occurred.

He said that more than 20 passengers were still missing while about 17 Bajaj motorcycles were yet to be recovered. The special adviser noted with dismay the continued loss of lives and property at River Buruku, saying it was high time adequate measures be taken to stop such mishaps. He recalled that in December 2013, a similar incident had claimed many lives. Aernyi called on the federal government to, as a matter of urgency, construct a solid bridge at River Buruku to prevent future occurrences.

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state has warned thugs demanding money from government contractors or individuals who embark on private projects in parts of the state to desist from the act or face arrest and prosecution. The governor issued the warning in a statement sent to by his chief press secretary, Terver Akase. The governor said the warning has become necessary following reported cases of harassment of contractors on project sites recently by some youths in Makurdi.

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