Three aides of VP Jonathan killed in crash in Katsina

Posted by Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja on 2009/01/24 | Views: |

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Three aides of VP Jonathan killed in crash in Katsina

Three members of staff of Vice President[VP] Goodluck Jonathan yesterday died in an auto crash in Charanchi town near Katsina.

Three members of staff of Vice President[VP] Goodluck Jonathan yesterday died in an auto crash in Charanchi town near Katsina.

The deceased, Mr. Brian Ata, an Assistant Chief Information Officer, Mr. Emmanuel Babarinde, a cameraman and Mr. Thomas Adeyemi, a security officer were on their way to an official assignment in Katsina State.

Though the nature of the assignment was not disclosed, it may not be unconnected with the wedding of the daughter of President Umar Yar'Adua, who hails from Katsina State, to Bauchi State governor Isa Yuguda.

A statement by Mr. Ima Niboro, Senior Special Assistant (Media and Publicity)to the VP, said Jonathan who expressed shock and sadness over the deaths, however, condoled with the families of the deceased and prayed God to comfort them and grant repose to the souls.

While the bodies of the deceased have been deposited at the Katsina General Hospital mortuary, six other occupants of the bus who sustained various degrees of injury are receiving treatment at the Katsina General Hospital.

Also yesterday, the VP and Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue State escaped unhurt in another crash involving their convoy in the VPís maiden visit to Benue State. Two vehicles in the entourage were, however, damaged.

Jonathan's maiden visit to Benue State nearly turned tragic when the section of the convoy that contained vehicles in which the VP and his host drove, crashed between Makurdi airport and the Government House where the VP was heading to commission some projects.

Two vehicles in the convoy - a fully loaded mini truck belonging to the Benue State Police Command Bomb Disposal Squad with registration number PF989HQ and an official Toyota Corolla car with registration number BN02A16, belonging to the Permanent Secretary of the state's Ministry of Women Affairs, Mr. Adicks Alu, were all damaged. None of the occupants sustained any injury.

The police vehicle which was attempting to overtake, ran into the Toyota car in front of it. The development caused a break in the convoy as all vehicles, over 60 of them, were blocked for about 20 minutes before policemen stationed on guard along the road rushed in and evacuated the accidented vehicles.

State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Samule Jinadu,who was reached by our reporter,said he will not comment until he gets an official briefing from the officer in charge of the Bomb Disposal Squad. But the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Alu confirmed the development and blamed the accident on the recklessness of the police.

Later,the VP was led to commission some projects completed by Governor Suswam as well as lay foundation for others.

Jonathan was in the state at the instance of Senate President David Mark to commission the Otukpo Study Centre built and donated to the National Open University, by the Senate President.At the event hours later,the VP reiterated government's determination to pay premium attention to tertiary education.

The state governor, who was just returning from the United States (US) where he went on the Federal Government's delegation to witness the inauguration of President Barack Obama, sought the VP to first commission his projects before heading to Otukpo where the Senate President was waiting.

It was while on the way from the airport along Makurdi/Gboko Road, to Government House, that part of the convoy crashed in front of the Olusegun Obasanjo College of Health Sciences.

Although the governor had invited all traditional rulers, chairmen and the councilors of the 23 local government areas, Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) members and all government appointees and elected officials for the commissioning, only a few persons witnessed it since majority were held up on the road by the accident.

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