Monday, 7 March 2016

How minister, wife, son died in gory auto crash.

Tragedy struck, yesterday, as the Minster of State for Labour, Chief James Ocholi (SAN), his wife and son died in a fatal auto crash along Abuja-Kaduna highway. 

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed shock and sadness over the development. While Ocholi, 55, and his son, Aaron Enojo, 20, died instantly, his wife, Blessing Fatima, a Registrar at Salem University, Sokoto, was said to have died later from injuries sustained in the crash. Vanguard gathered that the wife slipped into coma before she finally gave up the ghost in the hospital. 

The late minister and members of his family were said to be travelling in his Prado sports utility vehicle when the accident occurred. The late minister, Chief James Ocholi (left) and wife How he died Explaining how the minister and his family members died 57 kilometers away from Kaduna, Kaduna State Sector Commander of Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, Francis Udoma, said the rear tyre of the SUV they were travelling in burst, while the vehicle skidded off the road and somersaulted several times into the bush. Udoma, who made this known in a telephone chat with newsmen in Kaduna, yesterday, said: “The rear tyre burst and the vehicle somersaulted into the bush. The minister and his son died on the spot, the wife died in the government hospital at Doka, Kaduna. 

“His driver, the chief detail, the orderly and the P. A. (Personal Assistant) were injured and are receiving treatment.” The news of the minister’s death reportedly rattled the Presidency, which deployed some members of the cabinet to receive his remains at National Hospital, Abuja, last night. They include Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Babachir Lawal; Governor Yahaya Bello Kogi State; Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige; Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole; Dr. Jaf Momoh, and Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Tayo Haastrup. 

Buhari expresses shock, sadness. Reacting to the accident, President Muhammadu Buhari in a statement by Garba Shehu, his spokesman, described Ocholi’s death as untimely, regretting that Nigeria had lost a key component of the change agenda. He also described the deceased as an accomplished and patriotic Nigerian, saying: “Barrister Ocholi was an accomplished and patriotic Nigerian, who was keen to accept the call to service at a time his country needed him.” 

The President remarked that in the few months Ocholi had been in office, he had already begun to distinguish himself through his commitment and dedication to his portfolio, adding that Ocholi had a long record of political association with him. 

Buhari also extended his condolences to the government and people of Kogi State, who he described as having lost a distinguished and irreplaceable son. This was even as he also sent the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr David Babachir, to formally convey the news to members of the deceased family as well as his church and prayed that God comforts and grants them the grace to bear the loss. “The entire country mourns the loss of this great man, who has sadly left us when we need him most,” the President said.

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