Tony Osauzo, Benin
Two policemen, yesterday, lost their lives in a motor accident involving ex-governor Adams Oshiomhole’s convoy near Oluku junction in Ovia North East Local Area of Edo State.
The policemen who were said to be part of the former governor’s security back-up reportedly lost their lives when a trailer rammed into their vehicle after its brakes failed.
Two other persons were said to have been critically injured and are receiving treatment in hospital.
Oshiomhole’s Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) is said to have have been badly damaged, but the former governor did not sustain injury, according to a statement issued by his media aide, Victor Oshioke
The convoy of vehicles in which the formal national chairman of the APC was traveling was said to be heading to Usen, Ovia South West council for a campaign rally when the accident occurred at about 12pm yesterday.
Full text of Oshioke’s statement reads in part: “We are sad to report that two police personnel in the Toyota Hilux truck lost their lives while two others are in critical condition receiving treatment at a hospital in the state.
“Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and other persons in the convoy, apart from those indicated above did not sustain any injuries.
“It is pertinent to state, without fear of contradiction, that the convoy of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole was maintaining legal speed limits when this incident occurred. This explains why the trailer, travelling in the same direction over ran the Hilux truck off the road and still hit the SUV carrying Comrade Oshiomhole, causing substantial damage. Without prejudice to police investigations, eyewitnesses account of the incident suggest, and we believe rightly too, that this was an assassination attempt, targeting Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
“It is painful that innocent policemen performing their legal duties lost their lives in this very unfortunate incident.
“While we pray for the quick recovery of the injured policemen, we extend our condolences to the families of the departed.
Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has deployed some of his aides to be on standby at the hospital to ensure that the wounded policemen are given the best medical attention possible.
“The case was immediately reported at the Ekiadolor Police Station, and investigations are ongoing.
“Finally we call on the security agencies to do everything possible to unravel the circumstances surrounding this incident, especially because of the threat to the life of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and the violence which has been directed towards him and his those around him in recent times”.
Following the accident, the Edo APC, in a statement by the Chairman of its Media Campaign Council, John Mayaki, said the party decided to suspend its campaign to honour the dead.
Meanwhile, Governor Godwin Obaseki has condoled with Oshiomhole and the candidate of the APC, Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
In a statement, the governor commiserated with the families of the victims of the crash and prayed that God grants them the fortitude to bear the loss of their loved ones.
“I received the news of the accident with shock and commiserate with the former governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and the candidate of the APC in the forthcoming governorship election, Osagie Ize-Iyamu over the very unfortunate incident involving their security aides and top chieftains of the party in the campaign team.
“While we pray for strength for the families of the deceased persons, we also pray for the quick recovery of those who were injured and are receiving treatment”, Obaseki said in a statement issued by media aide, Crusoe Osagie.