Auto crash: Imoke flown abroad for medical treatment

Sunday, April 4, 2010

 By Mike Odiegwu, Calabar, Published: Thursday, 25 Mar 2010

 Indications emerged on Wednesday that Cross River State Governor Liyel Imoke may have been flown abroad for medical treatment, following injuries he sustained when his convoy was involved in an accident on its way to Obudu Cattle Ranch, Obudu Local Government Area of the state.

Our correspondent learnt that the governor was first treated in an undisclosed hospital in Abuja before being flown to another unnamed hospital abroad.

 Though it could not be confirmed why a decision was taken to move the governor from an Abuja hospital to a foreign one, there were speculations that the Imoke was flown abroad on the advice of some medical experts.

But the Chief Press Secretary and Special Adviser to the Governor on Media, Mr. Patrick Ugbeh, said the reports of his boss being flown abroad were speculative.

But it was observed that for over 17 days after the incident, the governor had not been sighted in the state as most of the government functions had been discharged by Deputy Governor Efiok Cobham.

 Imoke was on March 6 this year, involved in an accident on his way to Obudu Cattle Ranch.

 Though no life was lost in the accident that occurred at about 2.30am, our correspondent learnt that the governor, his driver and the Deputy Senate Leader, Mr. Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN), who was also in the convoy, sustained various degrees of injuries.

 While Imoke was said to have sustained an injury on his wrist in the unfortunate incident, it was gathered that Ndoma-Egba escaped with a minor impact on his chest.

 It was learnt that Imoke was flown to an undisclosed hospital in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, at about 8.30am on the day of the incident for urgent medical attention. It was gathered that the crash threw the long convoy into disarray as all the political associates of the Governor who were traveling with him to the ranch showed signs of fear.

 Some of the political associates of the governor in the convoy were Cobham; the former Minister of Environment, Mr. John Odey; some members of the House of Representatives from the state and some stalwarts of the Peoples Democratic Party.

 They were, however, reportedly uninjured. Our correspondent further gathered that the mishap occurred when the governor’s car in the convoy skidded off the road and hit a pavement by the side of the road about two kilometers to the ranch.

It was further learnt that the accident occurred when the governor was on his way to have some rest at the ranch after attending the wake-keep of late Mrs. Beatrice Ayade, the mother of Prof. Ben Ayade, and a former chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, late Mr. Benedict Ikobi, in Obudu.

Our correspondent, who was at the venue of Ayade’s wake, observed that Imoke arrived the place with his entourage at about 10.45pm.

The governor who was in high spirits spent time exchanging pleasantries with dignitaries that were in attendance.

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