Calabar — At least, 166 Nigerians travelling from Oron in Akwa Ibom State to Gabon in a wooden boat died on the Calabar water channels yesterday following the capsize of the boat, according to David Akate of the Cross River State Emergency Management Agency.
Already, 45 corpses of some of the victims have been deposited at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital's morgue.
Akate said the passengers were travelling in a big wooden boat from Oron in Akwa Ibom State to Gabon.
He said eyewitnesses said the boat was actually conveying 168 passengers but only two persons were believed to have been rescued.
A marine transporter at the Calabar Inland Waterways, Mr Ikechukwu Egwu, told journalists that the passengers were mostly Igbo traders.
"They are mostly Igbo traders who headed to Oron to board the wooden boat because it was cheaper," he said.
As at writing this report neither the police command in Cross River State nor in Akwa Ibom State was able to make a formal statement.