The political camp of the Edo State All Progressives Congress, APC governorship candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, was on Monday hit by monumental tragedy when its campaign train was involved in a fatal accident which claimed the lives of two policemen in the convoy of immediate past governor of the state, Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole. Two other persons were said to have been critically injured and were receiving treatment in hospital.
The deceased policemen, who were said to be part of the former APC national chairman’s security back-up, lost their lives when a trailer rammed into their vehicle after its brakes reportedly failed. Oshiomhole’s media aide, Victor Oshioke said in a statement that his Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) was badly damaged, though he did not sustain any injury.
The campaign train was en route Usen in Ovia-Southwest local government area of the state when the accident occurred at around 12 pm near Oluku in Ovia North-East local government area. Following the tragic incident, the APC had to suspend the campaign in honour of the dead. Announcing the suspension, the APC, in a statement by the Chairman of its Media Campaign Council, John Mayaki, said “The candidate of the Edo State All Progressives Congress (APC), Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has called off his rally at Usen, following a road crash. Before Oluku junction today, a trailer ran into the traveling campaign entourage of top chieftains of the APC, claiming lives”.
Mayaki condoled with the families of the victims on behalf of Ize-Iyamu and the APC, saying they were not alone in their grief. He pledged that the campaign would do everything within its powers to ameliorate their grief. Reaching out to the families of the policemen involved in the fatal crash, the campaign council said Edo would never forget their supreme sacrifice. It called on everyone to pray for the soul of dead, and against the recurrence of such tragedies.
Though details of the accident was initially sketchy, Oshioke threw light into what actually happened in a statement he issued later in the day in which he alleged assassination attempt on his principal.
Full text of Oshioke’s statement reads:
“Some minutes after 12 pm today Tuesday September 1, 2020, there was a motor accident involving the convoy of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, along Benin-Lagos by-pass before Oluku junction. The convoy was headed to Usen Community in Ovia South- West Local Government Area of Edo State, where Comrade Adams Oshiomhole was expected to appear at a campaign rally alongside Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the APC governorship candidate in the September 19, 2020 election in the state, when a trailer driving in the same direction veered off its course, hit the back up Toyota Hilux vehicle carrying 7 policemen, forcing it off the road into the bush and rammed into the Sports Utility vehicle carrying Comrade Oshiomhole, causing substantial damage.
“We are sad to report that two police personnel in the Toyota Hilux truck lost their lives while two others are in critical condition receiving treatment at a hospital in the state. Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and other persons in the convoy, apart from those indicated above, did not sustain any injuries. It is pertinent to state, without fear of contradiction, that the convoy of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole was maintaining legal speed limits when this incident occurred. This explains why the trailer, travelling in the same direction over-ran the Hilux truck off the road and still hit the SUV carrying Comrade Oshiomhole, causing substantial damage.
“Without prejudice to police investigations, eye witnesses’ accounts of the incident suggest, and we believe rightly too, that this was an assassination attempt, targeting Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. It is painful that innocent policemen performing their legal duties lost their lives in this very unfortunate incident. While we pray for the quick recovery of the injured policemen, we extend our condolences to the families of the departed.
“Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has deployed some of his aides to be on standby at the hospital to ensure that the wounded policemen are given the best medical attention possible. The case was immediately reported at the Ekiadolor Police Station, and investigations are ongoing.