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The other side of River Wudil

River Wudil, is a cool place for one to refresh for leisure, especially during hot season, but dangerous to swim because of the rate at…

River Wudil, is a cool place for one to refresh for leisure, especially during hot season, but dangerous to swim because of the rate at which people got drowned.

In early May, 2018, a level 300 student of the Kano University of Science and Technology (KUST) Wudil, Farouk Abubakar, lost his life while swimming in the river, a tragedy which led to violent demonstration embarked upon by the students of the institution.

Abubakar, who was a student of Biology Education of the University, was reportedly drowned when he and two other students went to the river to refresh themselves. The students, angered by what they called lackadaisical attitude of the school authority in mobilizing rescue team in respect of the drowned student, went on rampage and destroyed properties.

A resident of Wudil, Ahmad Ado, who was swimming in the river, told our reporter that the Wudil River is not an easy one to swim in even for those who are good at swimming.

He said there are some grasses inside the river locally known as Daniniya which makes it difficult to swim when one gets close to it.

“When you go close to the grass, you feel fatigue as if the water is washing you away, and within no time one becomes tired and lacks energy to swim back to safety,” he said.

“Some people who drowned inside the river are laborers who go in to pack building sand from the bottom, and you know some people can stay underneath for up to 10 hours after death before they come up floating,” he explained.

He added that the locals had a belief that there were some evil spirits that inhabit the water and they used to go to other rivers and commit such atrocities as drowning people, an action which attracts spirits from the affected rivers to come for vengeance.

Ado, however, dispelled the insinuation that it was only strangers that fall victims and not the locals, saying four people all of whom were local residents have drowned last week in the river.

“I personally took part in picking three of them out of the water and all of them were residents of Wudil here. Two of them were lying at the bottom of the river, we had to use fishing net to bring them out, while the other one was seen floating,” he said.

He also said the fourth drowned person, who happened to be his friend, was yet to be found.

However, there was no any partition built to prevent students from sneaking into the river, especially during rainy season when plants and grasses have formed a thick barrier between the school and the river.

When our reporter visited the scene of the incident, some young men were seen swimming in the river, but they however denied being students of the university.

There was an open gate and a wire fence at some places which has become porous and easy access for students to the river.

A student of the University, Hassan Yunus, said students were no longer allowed to go to the river as there was a strict order in place preventing them, and defaulters were up for severe punishments which include dismissal from the University.

“Actually students don’t go swimming in the river. There is a possibility that some could defy the restriction and sneak into the river, but I have not seen any one so far from the time the school authority banned students from going, as a result of that incident during which one of our colleagues was drowned in the river,” he said.

Another student, Inuwa Yahaya, said the Student Representative Council (SRC) of the University has mounted some warning signs, especially for fresh students who were not aware of what happened to one of them who lost his life in the river.

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