By Joshua Erubami
The last may not have been heard of the overwhelming jubilations and celebrations that rocked the cheery news of Chief James Ibori’s regained freedom from the United kingdom prisons as a young kinsman of the ex-Governor was involved in a ghastly auto crash that claimed his life and sent fear down the spine of many.
The deceased, simply identified as Ochuko, was said to be a commercial motorcyclist (popularly known as Okada) plying the major roads linking the various communities of Oghara, the administrative headquarters of Ethiope West Local Government Area of Delta State.
According to an eyewitness who only gave his name as Mackson Omomedia, Ochuko was riding along the Sapele/Benin expressway when he got the information that Ibori had been finally set free from the prison, having served a 13 year jail term.
Omomedia revealed that the boy was between the ages of 19 and 25 and that the accident occurred around 5:00 pm on Wednesday, adding that “a woman had just alighted from his machine (motorcycle) when he decided to join the celebration train of Ibori’s return. Unfortunately for him, he was hit by a car and he died”.
“I couldn’t identify the brand and model of the car because it was compressed due to the accident, but with the shape, it must be a sport flashing ashes coloured car”, Omomedia said.
Another eyewitness account said the deceased had already joined the celebration train and was flamboyantly displaying his cycling skills when he got knocked down by a “jeep” that was on top gears.
The source who craved anonymity disclosed that Ochuko was immediately taken to the Delta State University Teaching Hospital (DELSUTH), Oghara where he reportedly died after all efforts to revive him proved abortive.
Contacted, the Chairman of the Ethiope West Local Government Council, Hon. Solomon Golley confirmed the sad development.
Golley described the death as unfortunate and avoidable, noting that he had always advised motorcyclists and other road users to embrace care and caution on roads, especially during the festive period.
While condoling with the family of the deceased over the unexpected loss, the Local Government Chairman prayed that the departed soul rests in the eternal peace of the Almighty Creator, just as he cautioned road users to celebrate the release of Ibori with care and moderation.
Although efforts to reach the immediate family members of the deceased were not successful, some residents of Oghara town mourned the loss on their Facebook pages, wondering why such negative development should prop up to mar the celebration of “their political hero”.