By Ewa Innocent, Abakaliki
Tears and emotions flowed from all directions as the bodies of Ebonyi APC youth leader, Mr Ogochukwu Elem and two policemen that lost their lives in a ghastly motor accident, were eventually recovered from a mining pit.
The accident which took place on Saturday, August 14, 2021 along Enyigba Abakaliki/AEFUNAI express road, took divers and heavy duty crane two days to recover the bodies and vehicle from the mining pit which measured about 20 metres deep from the land surface.
Mr. Ogochukwu Elem, the APC youth leader and two policemen were travelling on that fateful day to a function when his vehicle driven by himself veered off the road and plunged into a deep mining pit filled with water.
Governor David Umahi, since the accident occurred suspended other State functions and relocated to the accident scene to ensure that the bodies of the APC leader and the two policemen were recovered from the mining pit.
Governor Umahi who was deeply pained and devastated while addressing the people at the accident scene after the recovery of the corpses and the vehicle, described the accident as very mysterious and warned that from Monday, August 23, 2021, his government will begin to launch attack on any mining company in the state that fail to close its pits.
His words,”We do not know the cause of the accident, we do not know what happened, but it is quite very mysterious that even the wages of the sand could not stop them, and the car plunged into a mining pit that was dug over 20 years ago and not closed but it is very unfortunate, and we have been fighting this issue of digging pits, harvesting led, zinc and even chippings without closing it back.
“We are going to identify all the pits in Ebonyi State, whether it was dug for lead, zinc, chippings or any other mineral in the State, we have to identify who did it and the closing of these pits must commence by next week Monday.
“Let me thank the Deputy Governor, the CP, Army Commander, the good people of Ikwo and Abakaliki Local Government Areas, their Chairmen, the divers, the security chiefs, the government officials and APC stakeholders who have been working since Saturday this thing happened till today that we brought out the three corpses, all dead and we were able to identify them. The vehicle has been brought out of the pit filled with water.
“We are going to be very tough on them in some weeks ahead, our lands are being destroyed, we cannot take back our lands that are being destroyed, and yet, what is supposed to come to the people doesn’t come to the people, that is man’s inhumanity to man.
“You destroy the land, destroy the people and you destroy their future.
“Ebonyians who collaborate with these enemies of the state to do this will hear from us very soon”, he said.
Umahi prayed to God to judge the departed fairly. “In all, we ask God to judge them fairly as we console the family of our youth leader, we console the CP and the families of the policemen who lost their lives, we console Ikwo people and the states where these policemen came from”.