Written by David Ugbabe
Following the accident which lead to the death of eight persons and destruction of several vehicles on Friday after a truck conveying cows to an unknown destination lost control running into some hawkers at the Akwata junction in Awka, the Anambra State Government has stated that it will pay the bills for the medical treatment of the victims of the accident.
According to a statement by the Commissioner for Information & Public Enlightenment, Mr. C. Don Adinuba, “. Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State has directed a team of top government officials to ensure that the victims receive proper medical attention and, if necessary, take them to Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital, Awka, or any other hospital in the state for superior attention.”
The statement further stated that a high-powered team has received a directive by the Governor to visit the families of the deceased as well as the owners of the cattle involved in the accident, “Mr Cosmas Chibuike of Umunnachi, Dunukofia Local Government Area of Anambra State, as well as the truck driver and any persons with him in the vehicle when the accident occurred, including Mr Muhammed Ndaji from Taraba State who is receiving treatment in a top orthorpaedic hospital in Awka. He noted that “Many cows in Anambra State are jointly owned by indigenes of the state and experts from the Northern part of the country in a business arrangement popularly known as agbate eke which spells out not just the ratio of ownership but also the ratio of sharing both profit and loss.”
Hence the government reiterated that it abhors jungle justice and all manner of mob behavior as such has no place in any civilized environment. Gov. Obiano, therefore advised aggrieved citizens of the state to follow laid down procedures and warned that “persons found guilty of irresponsible conduct in respect of the tragedy of last Friday will face the consequences of their action.”
The governor advised that, “the tragedy has underlined the critical need for big truck owners and drivers to constantly check the state of their vehicles before they set out every day with them on the road. They must also adhere to road safety rules like speed limit, especially in towns, cities and other places with high populations and economic activity. Drivers should also avoid stimulants like alcohol and drug.” Meanwhile, he thanked the security officers, Anambra State Fire Service officials, Anambra State Traffic Maintenance Agency as well as ordinary citizens who raced to the scene of the Akwata Junction accident and did their best to maintain law and order and take victims to different hospitals. Most Anambra people always live up to the true meaning of our shared humanity and our shared values.