Ebonyi APC youth leader, two policemen’s bodies recovered from mining pit after three days
Posted by News Express | 16 August 2021 | 180 times
•Ebonyi State governor, David Umahi
By GEACE EGBOH, Abakaliki
The decomposed bodies of the All Progressive Congress (APC) youth leader in Ebonyi State, Comrade Ogochukwu Elem, and two police escorts attached to him have been recovered from an unmarked mine pit Enyigba area of the state.
Tribune Online recalls that Elem’s Golf car which was conveying them plunged into the mine pit at about 3 pm on Saturday afternoon.
A crane supplied by the state Ministry of Infrastructural Development for Concession and local divers were deployed to the scene on Sunday to help with the rescue efforts.
Reacting to the ugly incident, Governor David Umahi, condemned the activities of miners who dig mining pits indiscriminately thereby endangering the lives of the people and destroying the environment.
He mourned the death of Mr Elem and the two others believed to be police escorts.
He said his government will set up a committee to look into the incident, warning that henceforth, his administration will not tolerate such practice from miners in the state.
He, however, commiserated with Elem’s immediate family, APC, the state and the Nigerian Police over the loss.
He said: “We learnt of the unfortunate incident of an accident here on this road that was on Saturday. The accident is still a mystery to all of us, that was the APC youth leader with some policemen that were going for a function and the accident happened.
“We do not know the cause of the accident, we do not know what happened but it’s quite very mysterious how it happened that even the wages of the sand could not stop them and the small vehicle plunged into a pit that was dug over 20 years and not closed.
“It is very unfortunate and we have been fighting this issue of digging pits, harvesting lead, zinc and shippings without closing it back. We have been fighting with miners in Ebonyi State over this issue. And so, the Chief of Staff is here who also doubles as the Commissioner for Solid Minerals.
“We are going to identify all the pits in Ebonyi State whether it was dug for lead, for zinc, for shippings or any other minerals. We have to identify who did it and then the closing of these pits must commence latest by next week Monday.
Tribune Online reports scores of angry Ebonyi youths trooped out on Sunday to protest the failure of the government and its rescue operators to pull out the victims and the vehicle as soon as possible. The angry youths blocked the Enyigba/Ikwo Road in protest.
The protest came after the vehicle slipped off while being lifted by the crane and plunged back into the pit.
Chairman of Ikwo Local Government, Chief Steve Orogwu, who spoke with Tribune Online on Sunday evening described the incident as tragic and unfortunate.
He said: “We invited local divers from different locations. We are very worried, you can see the population of sympathisers here. Even the youth have become restive to the extent of blocking the road. So, it is a very precarious situation.”
On his part, Abakaliki Local Government Chairman, Chief Emmanuel Nwangele described the incident as mysterious.
“Government has tried so much because since yesterday (Saturday), my local government and that of Ikwo have put heads together, we have called divers from all corners; from Izzi, Ikwo and other places. Even Hausa people have tried since yesterday (Saturday). Then this morning (Sunday), they continued and nothing has happened.
This is too mysterious because if you look at how it happened and where it happened, you will hardly believe it until the vehicle is seen. But divers have established that it is inside the water. We are now waiting for the crane and everybody is restless and we are doing everything humanly possible to make sure they are rescued,” he said. (Nigerian Tribune)
Source: News Express
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