FRSC to present full report on Ocholis’ death
• Eminent Nigerians, FEC, ministry mourn
• Vehicle rams into Yobe deputy gov’s convoy
As the nation writhes in grief over the death of the Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, James Ocholi, his wife and son in an accident along Kaduna-Abuja expressway, the Yobe State Deputy Governor, Abubakar Aliyu, escaped death along the Kaduna-Kano expressway yesterday.
The accident involving Aliyu occurred at Dakatsalle village in Bebeji Local Council of Kano State.It was gathered that a motorist on high speed trying to evade hitting a “mad” woman, veered off the road to hit the official vehicle of the deputy governor.
Confirming the incident, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Kano Sector Commander, Aminu Umar, said there was no casualty.
An eyewitness account said that the motorist was on high speed when he suddenly sighted the woman trying to cross the road, and in trying to avoid her he veered off to hit Aliyu’s vehicle that had a stopover at Dakatsalle town. No reason was officially given for the convoy’s parking by the roadside in the town.
When asked, a source close to the authority concerned said an incident concerning big men in the society should be handled with care, adding that even police were not aware of the incident hours after it occurred.
As a follow-up to the unfortunate accident that claimed the lives of the Ocholis on Sunday, the FRSC has assured Nigerians that it would come out with the full report of the mishap in the next 72 hours.
It, however, said that the First Information Report at its disposal indicated that the accident occurred due to a tyre blow-out which made the vehicle to somersault beyond control.
The late minister, his son and wife lost their lives while coming back to Abuja from Kaduna on Sunday on a Lexus Jeep.
Addressing journalists on the incident yesterday in Abuja, the Corps Marshall and Chief Executive of FRSC, Boboye Oyeyemi, said the incident has brought to the fore again, as a matter of urgency, the need to introduce the speed limit device on vehicles, especially the commercial ones, to save more lives and properties.
Oyeyemi who used the occasion to condole with President Muhammadu Buhari, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation as well as the Federal Executive Council (FEC) described the accident as a tragic one.
This incident has brought to the fore the need to use better tyres on our roads, the time has also come for us to ensure that the speed limit device is introduced, especially, for commercial vehicles that usually carry several passengers. All of these measures are aimed at better safety of lives and properties of Nigerians on the roads,” he said.
According to Oyeyemi, the FRSC is ready to work with appropriate committees put in place by the House of Representative to resolve the issues surrounding the introduction of the speed limit devices.
He also said that plans were underway for the FRSC to work with the Minister of Power, Works and Housing on the issue of road signs installation so that all the speed limit regulations will be strategically positioned in highways, dual-carriage ways and on all the expressways.
Meanwhile, eminent Nigerians and institutions have continued to mourn the Ocholis.Among them were the Federal Executive Council (FEC), Ministry of Labour and Productivity, President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, Governors Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, and Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta).
There will be a special tribute at the FEC meeting in honour of Ocholi this week in view of his invaluable contributions to the country.
This was confirmed by the Special Adviser to the President, Femi Adesina, in a chat with State House correspondents yesterday. The Presidential aide, who described the death of the minister as a personal loss to President Buhari, said the duo have had a long history of political relations in the past.
Also the Foreign Affairs Minister, Godffrey Onyeama has said that the contributions of Ocholi at the weekly FEC meetings would definitely be missed, so also is his jovial personality. “First of all, it is an indescribable shock and unimaginable proportion, to find words to express our feelings at this time. Pain on so many levels. First and foremost, the minister was a fabulous human being, truly wonderful human being, he was one of the friendliest people I have ever met, and it is a tremendous loss at a human level.
“On the professional level, he was a tremendous legal mind. In his contributions at the FEC, he was always insightful and so the country and the government have really suffered a terrible loss, and our hearts go out to all his relatives.
“He also lost his wife in this tragedy and his son, and it is something that is difficult to comprehend. This is one if the biggest mysteries of life on earth, what is it all about and you can say why, why, why.”
Adesina said the President had been deeply touched by the death of his minister. “Yes, I have been to the President’s office to console with him, and you could see the effect all around him, the sober and somber atmosphere around there is telling.”
He said the late Ocholi had been one of the President’s political followers, recalling that when he (Ocholi) contested the governorship election as the candidate of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in 2011, the President was on ground to campaign with him from start to finish, an indication of the President’s level of confidence in him.”