Rose Ejembi, Makurdi

The Abba Moro Campaign Organisation has expressed sadness over the death of seven of its supporters from Oju Local Government Area of Benue State, who were on their way to the Peoples’ Democratic Party, (PDP) zonal campaign flag-off in Agatu on Friday, Dec. 28, 2018.

In a statement signed by its Director, Media and Publicity, Ameh Ameh, the body regretted that such could happen on a day that was supposed to be a joyful day.

“We are in grief because the death of those esteemed supporters has dwarfed our plans and broken our arms. We never saw this coming on a day that was meant to be memorable.”

The organisation while also debunking claims that 30 persons died in the accident released the names of the deceased supporters as Dr. Ulaka Ulaka, Agi Ukuru Agu, and Abigial Ogo. Others were Odo Enyi, John Billy as well as Akpede Egbe and Ogbaji Onda.

“This statement became imperative following conflicting reports in the media on the actual casualty figure and the circumstances leading to the tragic incident.”

The statement added that, “the accident occurred at Ojinebe along Adoka road after an oncoming vehicle, a Toyota Sienna, heading towards Otukpo rammed into one of the buses conveying our supporters from Oju LGA, thereby resulting to a head-on collision.

“To set the record straight, a total of nine persons lost their lives in the mishap with seven being members and supporters of the PDP and two occupants of the ill-fated Sienna.

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“This is to correct the negative impression in the media that over 30 persons died in the auto crash. This is untrue and misleading.

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“We know every life matters and we are pained over the sad development; but we want to urge the general public to disregard the report making the rounds in the social media sphere on the casualty figure.”

While stating that the senatorial candidate of the party in the zone, Comrade Abba Moro, received the news of the accident with utmost shock, the organisation said he immediately rushed to the scene of the accident, visited the injured in hospital before proceeding to the venue of the flag off to put off the campaign.

“Comrade Abba Moro who was in his Otukpo residence when the incident occurred, received the news with shock and disbelief. He quickly rushed down to the scene with his team to ascertain the situation. This is contrary to the report that he was part of the convoy.

“He subsequently moved to the hospital with senior members of the party where survivors were being rushed to before proceeding to the venue in Obagaji, Agatu to officially call off the rally as a mark of honour.

“PDP party chieftains had gone to Oju to commiserate with families of the deceased,” the statement read in part.

Our correspondent gathered that the injured have been moved to the Benue State University Teaching Hospital (BSUTH), Makurdi, where they are currently responding to treatment.