By Peter Duru, Makurdi
Party cancels senatorial campaign flag off in Benue
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, zonal campaign flag off in the Benue south senatorial district was Friday put off following the death of seven members of the party and three others in a ghastly motor accident in Ojinebe 1, Otukpo-Oweto Road, Otukpo local government area of the state.
The accident involved three vehicles including the Toyota Hiace bus conveying the deceased PDP members from Oju to Obagaji, venue of the rally, the crash also left five others with varying degrees of injuries.
Saturday Vanguard gathered from an eyewitness that the ill fated vehicles ran into each other while on top speed when a driver of one of the crashed vehicles tried to avoid crushing a commercial motorbike operator who skidded off his lane.
“It was in a bid to avoid the Okada rider that one of the drivers ran into the vehicle conveying the PDP members and a Toyota Sienna bus conveying some persons to a burial ceremony,” the eyewitness said
Speaking at Obagaji venue of the rally, on the decision of the party to cancel the zonal campaign, Benue state chairman of the PDP, Sir. John Ngbede who expressed shock at the unfortunate incident said the party cancelled the rally in honour of the victims.
Also speaking, the PDP senatorial candidate for Benue south district and former Interior Minister, Comrade Abba Moro who held back tears as he spoke said he was rattled by the unfortunate incident.
Moro disclosed that Governor Ortom had directed that some of survivors be moved to specialist hospitals adding “in the wisdom of our leaders, including the former Senate President, David Mark and the Governor we have been advised to put off this gathering in honour of our departed supporters.”
Meanwhile, Governor Ortom who visited the victims in the hospital at Adoka in company of SenatorMark and his Deputy Governor, Benson Abounu described the incident as painful and unfortunate, saying it was a huge loss to the entire PDP family in the state. He also directed the immediate evacuation of the survivors to Benue State University Teaching Hospital Makurdi for further treatment, stressing that cases that required further referrals outside the state would be handled accordingly.