Abakaliki - The Chairman of Onicha Local Government Area of Ebonyi, Chief Obasi Nwode, has died in an auto crash involving his official vehicle.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the accident occurred on Sunday evening at the Nkwagu Military Cantonment--end of the Abakaliki—Afikpo expressway.
Three other occupants of the Toyota Hilux Van with the registration number LG 01A NCA sustained varying degrees of injury.
Addressing newsmen on the incident on Monday, Chike Onwe, the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, said the vehicle somersaulted severally which resulted to the fatality.
“This incident is unfortunate and regrettable and has thrown the whole state into mourning.
“His death is a great loss, as he served his people and the state government meritoriously and replicated the governor’s programmes in his council.”
The commissioner recalled that he discussed with the late chairman on Saturday when it became obvious that the State Governor would no longer be visiting his council on Monday, on the State PDP organised Appreciation Tour.
“We scheduled to see on Monday morning to deliberate more only for the tragic incident to occur on Sunday,” Onwe said.
Mrs Josephine Elechi, Wife of the State Governor, who visited the scene of the incident, expressed profound sadness and described Nwode as a loving father and people- oriented chairman.
“I join millions on Ebonyians to mourn this irreparable loss and I pray that such tragedy does not befall the state again,” she said.
Mr Jide Fehintola, Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in the State, said he visited the scene to assess the level of the crash.
“The cause of the crash could be attributed to over -speeding as the driver was trying to negotiate a bend.
“He might have lost control of the vehicle as the road is smooth and spacious.
“I advise road users in the state to obey road safety regulations now that the state government is making roads in the state motorable.
“Smooth roads do not call for over-speeding, showing-off the strength of vehicles, as all these cause road mishaps.”
Fehintola also noted that another crash occurred on the road on Sunday which involved a Nissan Xterra Jeep and was caused by a tyre burst, though no life was lost.
“We checked the tyres of the vehicle and discovered that they were manufactured in 2008 and were supposed to have expired.
“I also call on users of second-hand vehicles to always check the duration of their tyres and to replace immediately when they expire, to avoid road crashes.”