Tragedy struck in Kogi State Monday night as no fewer than 11 people were confirmed dead and over 23 wounded in an accident along Auchi-Okene road in Okehi local government area of the state.
According to an eyewitness account, the accident involved two vehicles, a trailer fully loaded with cows coming from the north and heading towards eastern part of the country and a Toyota Corolla car at a spot called sharp corner.
The trailer marked XE 914 KTN was said to have hit the Corolla with registration number BWR 756 BJ from the back. The trailer was said to have fallen in the process following which the people on top of the coach housing the cows fell along with the cows and died instantly. Six persons were said to have died on the spot of the accident, while the remaining five died either on the way to the hospital or in the hospitals. It was gathered that the accident must have been as a result of overspending by the trailer driver, who was also accused of dozing off while driving.
The sector commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Ouwasegun Martins, confirmed that 11 people died in the accident, while 23 were injured. He said those wounded were taken to God’s mercy hospital, Okene, while those with critical situation were taken to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Lokoja.
The Administrator of Okehi local government area, AbdulRaheem Ohiare, who was at the scene of the incident, lamented the loss of lives on the highway. The visibly sad council boss said the level of accident along the road was high and worrisome, urging the federal government to urgently do something about the sharp bend. He noted that both sides of the road are not good and needed urgent repairs to prevent further loss of lives and properties.
Ohiare however urged motorists to observe all road safety regulations and make sure that they correct all faults on their vehicles before plying the road. Meanwhile, gunmen suspected to be kidnappers have killed two policemen and kidnapped a foreign national along the Obajana-Oshokoshoko road in Kogi State. A witness said that the incident happened at about 7pm on Monday.
According to the witness, the gunmen had emerged from the bush while the foreign national identified as Jose Machada, was inspecting an ongoing road construction project being handled by AG Dangote Company Ltd.
The gunmen were said to have engaged the policemen on guard duty at the construction site in a gun duel, killing one of them identified as Sgt. Gini John on the spot while the second policeman, Inspector Ezekiel Negedu who was also shot later died at the hospital. It was further gathered that the gunmen kidnapped the expatriate engineer and fled into the bush with him.
The spokesman of the Kogi Police Command, Mr William Aya, who confirmed the incident, saying the gunmen numbering about 15 engaged its men on guard duty at a construction site along the Obajana-Oshokoshoko road in a gun battle, adding that two of them died in the process while the expatriate was kidnapped in the process.
He said the Commissioner of Police immediately directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) in charge of operations alongside other operatives to move to the bushes for the possible rescue of the abducted expatriate. Aya said the Police Commissioner has personally visited the scene of the incident, assuring that all efforts were being made to rescue the kidnappeed expatriate.