Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, in a statement, quoted Buhari to have described their deaths as “sad and unfortunate”.

The president also condoled with the governments and people of both affected states.

He called on state authorities and surrounding communities to step up rescue efforts of passengers that were still missing.

Buhari called on the would-be passengers of water transportation to adhere strictly to safety regulations outlined by national and state authorities in order to prevent avoidable accidents and loss of lives and property.

"Such a call has become imperative in view of prevailing COVID-19 guidelines against overcrowding and night travels,” he added.

The president prayed that God would comfort the bereaved families and grant rest to the departed souls.