But for providence that brought the Chief of Staff to Kogi State Government to an accident scene along Abuja-Lokoja-Okene Road, victims of an accident involving a Truck belonging to the Cement Company, BUA Plc, would have been telling a different tale.
The Driver, Mr John Matthew, while narrating circumstances leading to the accident told the Inside Story crew in an exclusive interview that it resulted from his effort to dodge one of their company vehicle earlier involved in an accident.
Mr. Matthew, whose truck has registration number; BCT-1C-023 said he lost momentary control of his truck when he attempted to look through when he sighted another of their company’s truck that was involved in an accident.
He was full of gratitude for the magnanimity of the Chief of Staff, who, at the time, he did not have his identity, for his show of care for strangers like them, describing him as the saving grace at that critical time.
Inside Story further gathered that the driver was on his way to Benin from Kano, where he had gone to offload goods believed to be cement.
Speaking, an eyewitness to the incident, Abubakar Shaibu praised the genuine show of love and compassion for human life despite his status in the society, saying the accident victims would have suffered more than they did before being conveyed for healthcare attention.
According to the eyewitness, who is also a student of Kogi State Polytechnic, the entire people of the area where the incident occurred were pleasantly surprised to see the kind of concern showed by the Chief of Staff, even though he did not know the victims from anywhere.
In his words; “Away from the picture of Edward Onoja that people are used to painting, what I saw was a man that was so concerned about victims of an accident, whose condition would have been worse if they did not get that immediate attention that they got through the Chief of Staff.”
Reacting, the Chief of Staff, Mr. Edward Onoja, described the accident as sad, especially for the fact that children who can be identified as minors were involved.
He said he was on his way from Crusher, a suburb of Lokoja, the capital of Kogi State, when he saw the truck overtake him despite being in a Special Utility Vehicle (SUV).
According to him, it was immediately the vehicle overtook him that he saw it slalom and swerved off the road into a gully close to the road, not far from where another truck belonging to the same company had had a mishap.
He said he felt for the victims of the accident which made him intervene on a passerby to help convey some of the victims to a nearby hospital, while his own vehicle was used to convey others to the Kogi State Specialist Hospital, Lokoja.
Mr. Onoja, who warned drivers against over-speeding, especially when it rains, blamed the accident partly on the careless overtaking by the driver.
The Chief of Staff also ordered that the victims be added to deposited in other hospitals be moved to the Kogi State Specialist Hospital for better Medicare.
Six people were involved in the accident; four males and two females with varying degrees on injury, with one male who was hanging between life and death as a result of the critical level of his injury as his dismembered limbs were left hanging around his body final gave up at the hospital.