Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, a Minister and 10 others, yesterday, in Kabba, Kogi State, survived when the helicopter in which they were travelling crashed. The incident happened at Kabba Township Stadium.
The VP, who was in Kogi in continuation of the TraderMoni scheme, was scheduled to visit Kabba, Okene and Idah, headquarters of Kogi West, Central and East respectively. At exactly 2:40 pm, the first chopper in Osinbajo’s entourage made a successful landing and was followed by the second chopper conveying the VP. The chopper conveying the VP, which made its landing around 2:45 pm, was, however, unlucky as the tail of the chopper caught one of the vehicles parked in the arena and tumbled immediately.
Emergency prayers erupted in the crowd when part of the chopper’s wings got severed from the main body. It took several minutes before the door of the chopper could be forced open.
The VP, who was subsequently freed from his seat belt and carried out of the chopper, took some minutes to stand and waved to the waiting crowd. He was immediately taken away to an hotel where he rested before proceeding to the palace of the Obaro of Kabba, who doubles as the Chairman, Okun Traditional Council, HRM, Oba Solomon Owoniyi.
In a statement by his spokesperson, Laolu Akande, later yesterday, Osinbajo expressed thanks to Nigerians for their concern over the chopper crash. The statement said the VP, after the mishap, continued his engagements in Kogi, engaging the people on the Next Level plan of the Buhari administration.
He quoted him as saying, “We are safe and sound. Thank you to everyone who has expressed concern, and thank you to the crew who managed the situation well. “We believe that God will continue to keep us and Nigeria safe even as we go higher. We continue Next level engagements in Kabba, Kogi State.” In a follow-up statement, also by Akande, last night, the spokesperson narrated the incident.
The statement said: “Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, departed Abuja around 1pm today on a chopper ride to Kogi State in continuation of the Family Chats & Next Level engagements. “Prof. Osinbajo headed first to Kabba, and while landing at the Kabba Stadium, the helicopter suddenly skidded sideways until it halted on its side few metres away from the intended resting spot.
“Alongside VP Osinbajo, the Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Prof. Stephen Ocheni, senior presidential aides, security officials and the crew; there were a total of 12 people on board. everyone came out safely after the incident.