Three journalists, Olatunji Jacob and George Okosun, both of the Independent Television, and Fidelis Ohani, a camera man of the African Independent Television (AIT), attached to Edo State Government House, Saturday, lost their lives while Governor Adams Oshiomhole escaped death after a tipper rammed into the governor’s convoy along Warrake Road in Etsako West Local Government Area of the state.
Six other journalists in the press bus and security operatives attached to the governor sustained various degrees of injuries while a photo journalist of the state-owned Observer Newspaper, Mr David Acha, and a driver, are in coma. Unconfirmed reports said the Chief Detail to the Governor was among those wounded.
Sunday Vanguard learnt that the tragic incident happened when Oshiomhole was on his way to Auchi after he received some decampees from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to his Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) at Afuze in Owan East Local Government Area.
A visibly shocked Oshiomhole was speechless when he was contacted.
It was learnt that Jacob was killed on the spot while the two others died after they were rushed to a private hospital in Auchi.
Consequently, the Director General of the Oshiomhole Campaign Organization and the South South Vice Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, announced the cancellation of the rally scheduled for Saturday to kick-off the party’s governorship campaign in Edo South.
The tragic incident came barely three weeks after a journalist attached to the Independent Television Benin City, Chuks Ogu, was shot dead by unidentified gun men in Benin City.
According to eye witnesses, the tipper lorry, ran into the governor’s convoy, hitting the SUV behind Oshiomhole’s car, leading to a multiple crash involving the back up vehicle, the press bus and the Hilux car carrying the Chief Press Secretary, Peter Okhiria.
As at the time of filing this report, the other journalists in the press bus had been rushed to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) .
When contacted, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media, Tony Iyare, said he was on his way to the hospital.