By Simon Ebegbulem
BENIN CITY â€”Â Secretary to Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo State, Mr. Washington Osifo, yesterday, raised an alarm that he was not the man who died in a hotel room in Benin City last week, as reported in the media.
It will be recalled that a 33-year-old man, identified as Washington Osifo, died in a hotel room in Benin City last week,Â where he went to visit a friend, who arrived from Europe.
Unfortunately, the deceased shared the same name with the Secretary of Orhionmwon council, who was shocked to receive the news of his own death both in the print and broadcast media in the state.
However, Mr. Osifo who also is the brother to the former Chief of Staff to the Edo State government, Mr. Isaiah Osifo, expressed disbelief over the incident, following several calls to him by friends and family members, saying “I am still alive.”
According to him, â€œnothing like that happened.Â I am alive. I will not call what happened a rumour, reason being that there existed one Washington Osifo, with the same name with me. NewsÂ was that he died in a hotel and I think that the hue and cry is because we have the same name, both first and surnames.
â€œSince the event, I have received over 5, 000 calls from people who care. Many would have wanted to call too but because they were afraid of what could be my reaction. I was supposed to travel to Germany last week for the Bini Cultural FestivalÂ but I had to cancel the trip andÂ because I stayed away for one month as I planned my holidays, a lot of people could not get me on line and they believed the news that I was dead,â€ he said.
Meanwhile, the family of the deceased Osifo and that of the friend who invited the deceased to the hotel where he gave up the ghost have been engaged in a war of words, just as the Police Command, through its spokesman, ASP Peter Ogboi, warned that the police would not tolerate people taking laws into their hands in the matter.
Ogboi appealed for calm and urged the parties involved to maintain calm and allow the police investigate the cause of death.