Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday escaped unhurt in a road accident in Abuja, although the crash left two of his police aides dead and others injured.
The former president was said to have been on his way from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, to his residence in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) when the accident happened.
But THISDAY learnt that two security personnel attached to him, Inspectors Ibrahim Abazi and Yakubu Toma, were not so lucky as they did not survive the crash.
Although it wasn’t clear what caused the accident, Jonathan was said to have left Yenagoa, Bayelsa, his home state, for Abuja in the afternoon before the accident which saw a number of the cars in the convoy mangled, happened.
A statement released on the incident by the former president’s spokesman, Ikechukwu Eze, said that although safe, Jonathan was deeply saddened by the death of his aides.
“Former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has expressed deep sadness over the unfortunate tragic death of two police officers attached to him in a road crash today at the vicinity of the Abuja airport, while on his way out of the airport.
“The former president who described the incident as painful and heart-rending stated that the sudden death of the two security details has thrown him into deep mourning.
“Dr. Jonathan noted with sadness that the deceased, Inspectors Ibrahim Abazi and Yakubu Toma, were fine officers who were dedicated to their duties and service to the nation,” the statement noted.
It confirmed that two other officers sustained injuries in the accident which involved a car conveying the security men, noting that they were rushed to a hospital in Abuja where they were responding to treatment.
“The office of the former president has offered condolences to the families of the bereaved and the police high command.
“Dr. Jonathan prayed God to grant the souls of the departed eternal rest and bless their families and the nation with the fortitude to bear the loss,” it added.
Meanwhile, a former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar has commiserated with Jonathan over the occurrence, describing the deaths as shocking.
On his Twitter handle, Atiku stated that the story of the accident and the loss of two of Jonathan’s aides were heart-wrenching.
“This story comes across as a a rude shock. We thank God for sparing the life of President @GEJonathan. But it is heart-wrenching that he lost two of his aides to the auto accident.
“I console the immediate families of the deceased as well as President Jonathan. May the souls of the departed rest in peace,” Atiku stated.