Nigeria’s Minister of Sports and Youths Development, Solomon Dalung, has disclosed the cause of the road mishap which befell his convoy in Gombe on Saturday.
Mr Dalung was in Gombe for the National Unity Convention of NYCN, after 10 years of inability to hold a successful convention, but his convoy was involved in a fatal auto crash while been received at the airport by Amb (Dr.) Dickson Akoh, Chairman of Board of the Council.
The convoy was returning from Gombe airport when, in Akku village, some kilometres away from the city centre, a 406 Peugeot heading to Bauchi rammed into it and somersaulted with flames.
Brand new SUV and another18-seater executive bus belonging to Akoh also somersaulted. Two death and several injuries were recorded in the incident.
Briefing newsmen in Gombe, Dalung said the driver of the 406 Peugeot “swapped off immediately he saw the convoy, he panicked and swapped off into the right-hand side and went into the Bush.
“He manipulated his way trying to come back to the highway but when he came this time, he crossed over and then smashed about 2 or 3 vehicles in the convoy and the car somersaulted, went into flames, one of our vehicles also somersaulted and we have some degrees of injuries and also fracture. From what I was told, we lost one life instantly”.
When asked if he made any effort to rescue the victims, the Minister said “It was only my car and one other car that left the scene immediately, the rest of the convoy reversed back and attended to them and moved them to the hospital and I immediately visited them in the 2 hospitals where they are receiving treatment. As I’m talking right now, 7 people have been discharged out of the number”.
Mr Dalung said as a sign of respect for the departed souls, the election would be shifted to Sunday, saying despite the distractions and antics of those who don’t want the progress of the NYCN, the convention would still hold in Gombe as planned.
“We will not be deterred because we are committed to delivering credible leadership in NYCN. We will proceed”, he said.
The Minister commended the delegates for traveling far, “after many years of crisis which had bedevilled the NYCN leadership, from one court order to another one, from one junior faction to another senior one, from one caretaker committee to another sole administration, and different forms of aberration that have truncated the vision and mission of youth agenda in Nigeria”.
He, however, read the riot act to those whom he described as “elements who hijacked the National Youth Council of Nigeria” for personal enrichment, while “truncating the vision and mission of youth agenda in Nigeria”.
He said, “for those who believe that the NYCN is a platform for making wealth, let me advise them, they can join Dangote group of companies, that is where wealth is created; those of us think we can use the platform of NYCN to blossom our political ambitions.