The Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. David Umahi, FNSE, FNATE has commiserated with the families of the Ebonyi State All Progressives Congress, APC, youth leader, Mr. Ogochukwu Elem, and two police officers who died after their car veered off the road and plunged into a mining pit along Abakaliki – Ikwo road on Saturday, describing the accident as “very mysterious and unfortunate”.

The Governor who was physically involved in the recovery process of both the vehicle and the corpses, since yesterday, was saddened and shocked by the ugly incident. He noted that the state government has been doing everything possible to ensure that miners close their pits after mining and further explained that all the mining pits across the State will be immediately identified and closing must commence at most on Monday, August 23, 2021.

Governor Umahi who spoke after the bodies and the vehicle were recovered at Enyigba, on Monday morning said, “We learned of the unfortunate incident of an accident on this road on Saturday. The accident is still a mystery to all of us as that was the APC state youth leader with two 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 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 led, zinc, chippings or any other mineral in the State, we have to identify who did it and the closing of these pits must commence latest by next week Monday.

The Governor thanked all those who made effort in ensuring that the corpse and vehicle were recovered, “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 can bring out the three corpses, all dead and we were able to identify them. The vehicle has been brought out of the pit and filled with water.

The Governor who noted that the roads and lands in the state are being destroyed by illegal miners, directed through measures to curb the menace in the weeks ahead, “Unfortunately, even the roads we do are being destroyed by the miners and the takers of the materials late at night aided by our people and some bad people in the security agencies.

“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 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.

“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.”

Francis Nwaze
Special Assistant to the Governor
(Media and Publicity)
August 16, 2021

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