Leadership (Abuja)

25 August 2011

Nigeria: Yakowa's Wife Escapes Car Fire Explosion

Wife of Kaduna State Governor, Amina Yakowa and her convoy yesterday narrowly escaped a heavy car fire explosion that caused pandemonium on the popular NEPA Roundabout within the Kaduna metropolis as it was mistaken for a bomb explosion.

LEADERSHIP gathered during a visit to the scene of the incident that the Kaduna state first lady and her convoy had driven from the Sir Kashim Ibrahim Government House at about 1.45pm en route Barnawa when coincidentally, a van which had stopped to obey the traffic light at a junction on the route suddenly burst into flames followed by a loud explosion.

An eye witnessed told our correspondent that the governor's wife's convoy was compelled to make a swift detour to Waff Road as her security operatives were unsure of the source or purpose of the explosion, whether it was from a bomb targeted at the first lady.

At the sound of the explosion, news went round town alleging that the dreaded Islamic sect, Boko Haram had stormed Kaduna as vehicles and people scampered for safety, while the imploded vehicle, a mini-delivery van with the registration plate Abuja: AL 70 GWA continued to burn. Meanwhile, a soldier who was at the scene confirmed that it was not a bomb explosion but rather a mere fire that unfortunately spread to the fuel tank of the ill-fated van.

Narrating the situation, the owner of the van, Faisal Mohammed who is also a vehicles dealer, said that he was stopped by the traffic light at the junction and was waiting for the green light when he was alerted by some passers-by that his van was smoking. According to him, he alighted only to discover that the vehicle was already inflames and he had to run to the nearby Total Filling station by the popular NEPA round about to beg for fire extinguisher, which he never got until the van exploded.

Another eye witness told our correspondent that, when the first lady's convoy arrived at the scene, the lead driver followed the intended route, while the security details and escort forced the Governor's wife to divert to another route to avoid being caught in the inferno and ensuing pandemonium.

It was also gathered that a green Peugeot 306 immediately took over the lead of the convoy blowing siren trying to clear the already confused traffic and escaped with Governor's wife unharmed.

However, the men of the State security outfit, Operation Yaki, arrived in two pick up vans and took control of the traffic situation.

When contacted the Press Secretary to the Governor's Wife, Mrs. Esther Tachio, simply confirmed; "yes, the Governor's wife's convoy passed by a burning vehicle at about 2pm around NEPA roundabout".

At the time of going to the press, LEADERSHIP could confirm that normalcy had returned to the crowded scene of the fire inferno although security men were still hanging around the scene perhaps to avoid the situation being turned into any unpleasant security situation.

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