A boat carrying 28 youths of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) in Adeke, Makurdi capsized on River Benue, killing no fewer than 26 of them, including a set of triplets.
Investigation revealed that the youths were going on an evangelism mission to a neighbouring community when tragedy struck.
The Secretary of the English Section of the ECWA church, Miss Favour Simeon, said she was with the 26 youths who died in the accident at Sunday service earlier in the day.
Speaking amid tears to reporters, Simeon recalled that shortly after the Sunday service, the youths had come together and decided to embark on evangelism in another community across the River Benue.
She said among those who drowned in the river when the boat capsized were a set of triplets by name Peter, Paul and Paulina, who are children of a mobile policeman identified simply as Inspector Bulus. Inspector Bulus was said to be away on Special duty at the time the incident occurred.
Simeon, an acquaintance of the 16-year-old triplets who were supposed to celebrate their 17th birthday in September, “their mother actually warned them against going to River Benue because the volume of its water had increased, but one of them (Paulina) accused her of trying to weaken her faith.
“It was on that basis that their mother allowed them to travelled for evangelism,” Simeon said.
She described the incident as unfortunate, saying that the deceased triplets were devout Christians who had strong faith in God and loved to worship Him.
Asked how she received the news of the death of his church members, she said: “My elder brother called me on the phone and asked if I went to evening service and I said no. He requested for Shadrach, one of the victims’ number.
“I was trying to call my brother again when a neighbour ran to me and said a canoe had capsized with our church members on board and all of them had died.
“I ran straight to the house of the triplets at Mobile Barracks and saw people gathered and the mother was crying.
“I ran to the bank of River Benue where the incid