Governor Idris Wada of Kogi State
By Tokunbo Adedoja, Matthew Onah and Shola Oyeyipo
Barely two weeks after Governor Patrick Yakowa of Kaduna State died in a helicopter crash in Bayelsa State, another governor, Captain Idris Wada of Kogi State narrowly escaped death yesterday when his convoy was involved in a ghastly auto accident along Lokoja – Ajaokuta Road.
Though, the governor survived the crash with "severe injuries," his aide-de-camp, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, Idris Mohammed died on the spot. His police orderly and driver sustained severe injuries.
A press statement Friday by the Kogi State Commissioner for Information, Alhaji Bologi Yabagi confirmed the accident and added that the Kogi governor "is in a stable condition" at the state’s Specialist Hospital Lokoja.
The governor’s Special Adviser, Media, Jacob Edi also corroborated this. He said: "I shook hands with him and he was all smiles."
Sources said doctors at the hospital spent most of Friday afternoon battling to stabilise the injured governor and his aides.
There were speculations later in the evening that the governor had been moved from the specialist hospital to the National Hospital, Abuja for further treatment. However, this could not be confirmed as at press time.
A source in the hospital said they had been alerted about the possibility of transferring Wada to Abuja and that an orthopaedic surgeon was among the specialists on standby.
Many top politicians from the state were seen at the National Hospital Friday evening, apparently awaiting the arrival of the governor. However, they all started dispersing at about 8pm, fuelling speculation that the governor might be flown abroad.
However, Edi confirmed the movement of Wada to Abuja, though, to a private hospital "for a more detailed medical examination."
There are strong indications that the governor is receiving treatment at Cida Crest Hospital, located on Amure Omanze Street, Garki 2, Abuja.
When THISDAY visited the hospital Friday night, there was heavy presence of security men and Kogi State Government officials and vehicles.
Kogi State Government House sources told THISDAY that the governor might "even be flown abroad along with his driver for medical treatment if his condition is too critical."
The accident, the source said, occurred in the afternoon at Emi Woro Village, about 12 kilometres to Lokoja (between Prime Polytechnic and Salem University) in Ajaokuta Local Government. It was gathered that the convoy was returning from an annual Igala Education Summit, declared open by the governor at the state’s university in Anyigba.
According to an eyewitness, the governor's 4x4 vehicle was on top speed with the rest of the convoy when it suddenly lost a tyre, veered off the road and somersaulted into a bush.
Lokoja, the state capital was thrown into panic when the news of the accident filtered into the town, as hundreds of people trooped to the specialist hospital to confirm the news and as well catch a glimpse of the injured governor.
Security agents had hectic time controlling the influx of people into the hospital. As a result, visitors who were in the hospital to see patients on admission were barred from entering.
The governor’s party, The Peoples Democratic Party expressed shock over the accident. A statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Olisa Metu, called on members of the party nationwide to embark on prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured governor.
According to Metu, the National Working Committee has "directed its members nationwide to observe minutes of prayers tomorrow, Saturday, December, 29, 2012 for the speedy recovery" of Wada.
The PDP also prayed for the repose of the soul of the ADC to Wada who died in the accident and asked God to comfort those he left behind.
Wada is the third governor to be involved in a ghastly accident in the last two months. Taraba State Governor, Danbaba Suntai was involved in a plane crash in Yola on October 25th.
He was piloting the Cessna plane before it crashed few minutes before landing and he has remained in a German hospital where he was flown for medical treatment since then.
And on December 15, Kaduna State Governor, Patrick Yakowa died in a helicopter crash in the creeks of Bayelsa State along with former Chief of Defence Staff and National Security Adviser, General Andrew Owoye Azazi.
They were returning from the burial of the father of Senior Aide to President Goodluck Jonathan, Oronto Dauglas.