Ocholi...left the vacuum

Toby Soniyi and John Shiklam in Kaduna

The Minister of State for Labour, Employment and Productivity, Mr. James Ocholi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), his son and wife, on Sunday perished in a ghastly motor accident along Kaduna – Abuja express way.

Ocholi and his son were said to have died on the spot when one of the rear tyres burst and the vehicle in which he was traveling somersaulted several times into the bush.

The wife who sustained fatal injuries was said to have died at the Doka Government Hospital, Kaduna, where she and other aides who sustained injuries were admitted.

Kaduna State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Mr. Francis Udoma, told THISDAY in a telephone interview that the accident occurred 57 kilometres away from Kaduna.

According him, “The rear tyre had a burst and the vehicle somersaulted. The minister and his son died on the spot, the wife died in the government hospital in Doka, Kaduna.

“The driver, the chief detail, the orderly and the P.A (Personal Assistant ) were injured” Udoma said. It could not however be established where the minister was coming from, but he was heading to Abuja.

Meanwhile the Kaduna state government has expressed deep shock over the incident. The government in a statement by spokesman to governor Nasir El-Rufai, Mr. Samuel Aruwan said the incident was devastating.

“The state government extends its heartfelt condolences to President Mohammadu Buhari and the Ocholi family. “Our condolences goes to members of the Federal Executive Council and the entire nation, the minister died at a critical time when his contributions in the ongoing national rebirth and realization of the change mantra are needed.

“May the almighty God grant their souls eternal rest” the statement said.

However, a spokesperson to President Muhammadu Buhari, said the presidency had been informed of the tragedy.

The presidency is expected to issue a statement on the tragic incident after speaking with Ocholi’s family.