By Gabriel Yough
Jalingo – Gov. Darius Ishaku of Taraba has condoled the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and families of nine corps members drowned in River Mayo-Selbe in Gashaka falls,Gashaka Local Government Area of Taraba on Saturday.
The governor,expressed the condolence in a statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Bala Dan-Abu, in Jalingo on Monday, described the incident as unfortunate and regrettable.
“My sympathy goes to the families, the National Youth Service Corps and colleagues of the nine corps members who drowned during a picnic in Gashaka Local Government Area of the state on Saturday.
“I pray God Almighty to grant the parents and relations of the deceased the fortitude to bear these painful losses,“ he said.
Ishaku advised corps members to always inform officials of NYSC and those of their primary assignments, in advance, plans to travel and attend social outings prone to some hazards.
“This unfortunate case of drowning of young men and women perhaps, could have been avoided if participants in the tragic picnic incident had involved the NYSC officials and other security agencies.
“I, therefore, urge youth corps members serving across the country to always involve authorities in their areas of their plans to embark on exercise and seek the company of rescue officials, in case things go wrong.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that nine out of 22 of the corps members were reported to have been drowned, following a sudden upsurge in the volume of water.
Local residents said that there was a heavy rainfall around Mambilla Plateau of over 7,000 feet above sea level,forcing the water to rush down to the river.
Police and the NYSC officials said that seven corpses had been recovered while the search for the remaining two continued, at the time of filling this report.