Sunday, March 6, 2016 7:41 pm
Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir El-Rufai has confirmed the death of the wife and son of Minister of state for labour, James Ocholi.
Ocholi, 55 years old, travelling with the family members and his police orderly was involved in a fatal accident on the Abuja-Kaduna road. The minister, a senior advocate of Nigeria was on his way to Kaduna.
He died on the spot, along with his son.
His wife, Blessing Fatima, who was initially reported to be critically injured did not survive the crash as she died in the hospital.
El-Rufai broke the latest news in a tweet this evening.
“It is with great sadness that the Kaduna State Ministry of Health and Human Services further announces the death of Mrs. Ocholi at Doka Hospital, who was in coma since the accident near Rijana, along the Kaduna-Abuja Road.
“Earlier, the death of Minister Ocholi and his son were announced. May their souls rest in perfect peace, Amen” – Nasir El-Rufai
Messages of condolence, expressions of shock and disbelief have been pouring to the surviving family members of Ocholi, since the patriarch’s death.
Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the national leader of the All Progressives Congress said: The tragic death of Chief James Ocholi is shocking and sad. My condolences and prayers go to his family.
Former vice-president Atiku Abubakar wrote: “Really saddened by the death of James Ocholi, the Minister of State for Labour, and his son. May they rest in peace”. Atiku had wished a speedy recovery for the wife, thought to be recovering in hospital.
President Muhammadu Buhari also expressed shock and sadness over Ocholi’s death.
“Nigeria has lost a key component of the CHANGE agenda,’’ Buhari said in a statement, issued by Malam Garba Shehu.
The president maintained that late Ocholi was an accomplished and patriotic Nigerian, who was keen to accept the call to service at a time his country needed him.
According to the president, in the few months he had been in office, he had started to distinguish himself through his commitment and dedication to his portfolio.
“The entire country mourns the loss of this great man, who has sadly left us when we need him most’’, he said.
According to the statement, Buhari has sent the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Eng. David Babachir to formally convey the news to members of the deceased family as well as parishioners in his place of worship.
The late Ocholi had a long record of political association with Buhari.
Meanwhile, Governor Yahaya Bello of Ocholi’s home state of Kogi was awaiting the body of Ocholi at the Abuja National Hospital, from Kaduna.
Ocholi and his wife Blessing Fatima from Ankpa, married 26 years ago. The couple was blessed with five children, Ojone Peace, Aaron Enojo jr, Joshua Eb‘ojo, Uyo Blessing jr and Ele Excellent. It was not clear who of the sons died along with the couple.