Barely a week after the Kogi State Governor, Captain Idris Wada, was involved in a ghastly car crash which left him badly injured and killed his aide-de-camp, Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Momoh Jimoh Lawal, had a bad accident that also claimed the life of his police orderly. Shola Oyeyipo, in this report, queries the mysterious coincidence
On Thursday, October 4, 2012, former Taraba State deputy governor, Alhaji Sani Abubakar Danladi, was impeached by 20 of the 24 lawmakers in the State House of Assembly. His removal followed an indictment by a judicial panel set up to investigate allegations of gross misconduct leveled against him. Though Danladi protested his impeachment in a court of law, the incumbent, Alhaji Umar Garba, had been named his successor.
But about a week after the new deputy governor assumed office, the Governor, Danbaba Suntai, was involved in a life threatening aircraft crash that had since kept him under close medical observation and away from governance in the state, in addition to the political machinations now engulfing the state.
Whilst the Suntai ordeal has attracted sympathy across board, there are those who felt that the law of karma was at work. He was alleged to have instigated Danladi’s impeachment. In fact, he was alleged to have induced some of the lawmakers to get through with the impeachment plot.
Sharing near similar character traits, Kogi State recently followed in the footsteps of Taraba. The Governor, Captain Idris Wada, narrowly escaped death in yet a ghastly motor accident that claimed the life of his aide, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, Mohammed Idris, who was said to have died on the spot.
Wada was returning from an event at Ayingba on Friday, December 28, when the front tyre of the vehicle in which he was travelling burst and the vehicle lost control before plunging into a ditch by the road side. He was rushed to the state owned Specialist Hospital in Lokoja, the state capital before he was flown in a helicopter to Cedar Crest, a private hospital in Garki II, Abuja, where his fractured femur was operated upon by Dr. Felix Ogedengbe, the Chief Medical Director of the hospital.
Though he was fortunate to have escaped fatality in the accident, he recently resumed work, having earlier declared to work from his sick bed. But he would wait awhile for his fractured thigh bone to heal.
Curiously, the accident came less than two months after Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Abdulahi Bello, was removed in an impeachment that was carried out by 12 of the 25 members in the assembly. Like Suntai, the Governor was openly alleged to have sponsored the illegal removal of the Speaker.
Some of the lawmakers, Hon. Henry Ojuola, Hon. Yori Afolabi and Bello had accused Wada of investing huge financial resources in the impeachment plot. Despite the fact that Bello boasted of the majority he needed to sustain reign as Speaker given an ideal situation and in spite of efforts by the House of Representatives which intervened, some political forces within the state were able to compel Bello to resign his position for the new Speaker when the assembly went on recess.
Bello’s impeachment did not, however, come easy for the perpetrators. It was a prolonged debacle that lasted several weeks. The 13-pro Bello lawmakers stood their grounds against the illegality that was to take place.
At a point, the assembly building was placed under lock and keys, to stop the illegal sitting of the group of twelve that had been warned to discontinue their sittings. But in the face of financial inducement and ‘political solution’ so to say, the forces behind the impeachment had their way, ultimately as Bello was made to tender his resignation and Lawal assumed office as Speaker.
Less than a week after the governor’s narrow escape from a car accident, on Wednesday, January 3, 2013 the new Speaker’s convoy was also involved in an accident which claimed the life of his Police escort, Constable Akeem Lamidi.
Although, the Speaker’s vehicle was not affected, the fact that he came into the news on the basis of another ghastly accident has left many pondering if the accidents were mere coincident or a kind of nemesis catching up with the Kogi gladiators. The development is now a subject of discussion among many in Lokoja and the entire state.
It is not surprising therefore that some fear there could be a degree of spirituality to the happenings, especially considering the fact that there were cases of lost of lives in the two accidents that occurred within a period of one week, involving both the governor and the new Speaker.
A resident and PDP sympathizer who spoke on condition of anonymity suspected that there could be a spiritual dimension to the accident: “Our people are very good at juju, they are most likely gunning for the governor’s life. He was only lucky.”
But Media Assistant to the Governor, Alhaji Yekini Jimoh, dispelled the insinuation. He holds the view that it was mere coincidence that could easily be made to look like an issue. While he emphasised that the governor is well and recovering fast, he also stated that the Speaker had left the particular spot before the accident occurred and that he was unhurt.
Immediate past Commissioner for Information, Dr. Tom Ohikere, a friend of the governor also disagreed with insinuations attached to the developments. “I like to disabuse the minds of those thinking the governor and the Speaker’s accidents were spiritual. There is no spiritual implication to the accidents. They were just cases of accidents and I don’t believe there are spiritual elements to it.
“The difference in the two accidents is that the first happened on active duty, when the governor was returning from an education summit that touched on the problems and the prospects of educational growth in Kogi State while the Speaker was returning from Xmas break. The case with these incidents was that they were seemingly unavoidable scenes. The two happened coincidentally and nothing is special about it.
“Unlike in some other climes where incidents like these happened on pleasurable and avoidable trips. The governor in his patriotism, even at the point of pains and threat to his life, disregarded foreign treatment and today, he is recuperating fast after his treatment in Abuja. We are also lucky that the Speaker was not personally involved in the accident that involved his convoy. So we are not talking about treatment for him, we however pray for the departed souls of their aides,” Ohikere stated.