Ondo State governor Olusegun Mimiko could not hold back his tears both at the Akure Airport and Government House following the crash of the aircraft conveying the corpse of former governor Olusegun Agagu, his family members and government officials for his lying in state yesterday.
The crash cast a dark cloud on what could have been a day of celebration in the state, as Governor Mimiko clocked 59.
Commissioner for Culture and Tourism in the state, Deji Falae and some government officials were involved in the plane crash.
Falae, who led the state government delegation that accompanied the corpse from Lagos before the crash lost his life in the incident.
Mimiko and some government officials were waiting for the corpse at the Akure Airport when his Chief of Staff, Dr. Kola Ademujimi briefed him on the crash. The governor wept bitterly.
The wife of the former governor, Mrs. Olufunke Agagu and his two daughters Solape and Omowunmi had earlier arrived the airport from Ibadan waiting to receive him when the news broke that the plane had crashed.
Governor Mimiko, who burst into tears was shielded by security personnel who smuggled him into his official car.
Sources said the governor could not attend to visitors as he stayed indoors all through.
Wife of the former governor and her daughters were also whisked away by family members and moved to a family friend’s house in Akure where doctors attended to them.
In a statement released by the state government, signed by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary Eni Akinsola, the government expressed shock at the news of the crash.
“The Ondo State Government received with shock the news of the crash of the plane bearing the corpse of the former Governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Agagu, as it was taking off from Lagos.
“A commissioner, family members, associates and other top government officials were also involved in the crash.
“Information available indicates that there were casualties and a few survivors of this unfortunate crash. We are however still expecting more information.
“No doubt, this is an unfortunate disaster in the life of our dear State. We can only pray that God will visit the State with mercy and give us all the strength to bear these unfortunate losses.
“We ask all residents to be in a sober and prayerful mood at these trying times as God is indeed the only person we should call upon in this period.
“Government assures that further information will be released as soon it is available,” the statement read.