But for providence, Nigeria would have recorded the death of another State Governor in a space of two weeks, as Governor Idris Wada of Kogi State, yesterday, narrowly escaped a ghastly motor accident.
The accident, however claimed the life of his aide-de-camp (ADC), Assistant Suprintent of Police (ASP) Idris Mohammed, who died on the spot due to impact.
The accident occurred at about 2.30 pm yesterday at Elete Emi Woro between Prime Polytechnic and Salem University on the Ajaokuta-Lokoja Road.
The governor was returning from the annual Igala Education Conference at Anyigba in Dekina Local Government Area of the state. Wada was reportedly on his way to Lokoja to attend a Juma’at prayer when the accident occurred.
An eyewitness of the crash said the governor’s Jeep in the convoy had a burst tyre and somersaulted severally before it plunged into an uncompleted building.
The source added that the governor, his orderly and his driver sustained serious injuries, while his ADC lost his life on the spot.
He was rushed to the State Specialist Hospital, Lokoja where doctors worked frantically to stabilise him.
The State Commissioner for Information, Bologi Yabagi, confirmed that the governor was rushed to the hospital, in Lokoja for treatment.
Wada is the third governor to be involved in an accident in the past two months after Governor Danbaba Suntai of Taraba State, who was seriously injured when a plane, he flew, crashed in Yola, Adamawa State on October 25, 2012. Governor Patrick Yakowa of Kaduna State alongside the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Gen. Patrick Azazi, died in a plane crash in Bayelsa State on December 15, 2012.
Wada’s predecessor, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris was among the first associates of the governor that visited him in hospital yesterday.
LEADERSHIP WEEKEND gathered that after being stabilised at the Specialist Hospital, Lokoja, an air ambulance was brought to evacuate the governor to a private hospital in Abuja.’’
Though his aides maintained that he was in stable condition, they were silent on his exact location.
There were speculations that he might be flown abroad for treatment directly from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja
Against earlier rumour that the governor would be taken to the National Hospital, Abuja for treatment before he is flown abroad, LEADERSHIP WEEKEND learnt that Wada was rushed to a hospital owned by his younger brother in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
For several hours yesterday, reporters laid siege to the National Hospital, waiting for the arrival of the ambulance, which was to bring Wada to the facility.
Responding to a call by LEADERSHIP WEEEKEND, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Richard Elesho, insisted that Wada was in a stable condition.
He said: “I am very happy to announce to you that the governor is not dead. He is not dead at all. I don’t want to tell you where he is. The governor is in a very stable and healthy condition.
“It is unfortunate that we lost the ADC in the auto crash. I have also heard people saying the driver died. No, it is not true. There were just three people in the car, the governor, the ADC and the driver. The ADC died on the spot, but the governor and driver are in stable conditions.”
Reacting to the reporter’s insistence on the governor’s whereabouts, Elesho queried: “Why do you want me to tell you where he is? If I am bold enough as a colleague to let you know that we lost the ADC, why do I have to lie to you? The governor is alive, hale and hearty, but I don’t have to disclose the exact location of the governor to you; must I? I only have to tell you as a colleague that the governor is alive. He had the first treatment at the Specialist Hospital, Lokoja. After that we left the Specialist Hospital for the Government House. But I don’t have to tell you his exact location at the moment.”
The Public Relations Officer of the National Hospital, Abuja, Mr. Haastrup Tayo, said Governor Wada was not in the hospital as at 9 pm when he spoke with LEADERSHIP WEEKEND. He however did not rule out the possibility of the governor being moved to the hospital last night.
In a statement last night, Yabagi said: “The convoy of the Governor of Kogi State, Capt. Idris Ichalla Wada has been involved in a ghastly accident. The governor survived the road mishap and is in stable condition. Sadly however, the governor’s Aide de Camp (ADC), Idris Mohammed, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, died on the spot.
“The accident occurred Friday (yesterday) afternoon at Emi Woro Village, about 12 kilometres into the state capital, in between Prime Polytechnic and Salem University, in Ajaokuta Local Government. The convoy was returning from the annual Igala Education Summit, which the governor declared opened at the state university in Anyigba.”
Meanwhile, workers and security personnel at the Government House wore mournful look as they gathered in groups, discussing the incident in hushed tones.
A senior police officer attached to the Government House, who sought anonymity, said the late ADC was “an epitome of humility, compassion and a lover of his job.”
He disclosed that Mohammed treated both officers and juniors alike as he was different in all ramifications from those before him.
“He was an easy going officer, he never disturbed anybody. In fact, if one was sad and met him, one will be consoled, “ the officer said.
Also last night, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) expressed shock over the accident involving Governor Wada and called on its stalwarts to observe minutes of prayers for the governor’s speedy recovery.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, said “Our great party is yet to recover from a rude shock arising from a recent similar incident. We therefore, wish to direct all our members to observe compulsory minutes of prayers for the speedy recovery of Governor Wada and to spare the party from further painful incidents,” Metuh said.
The party prayed for the repose of the ADC’s soul asking ‘‘God to grant his family the fortitude to bear the loss.’’