The King of Kanuri in Lagos (Mai Kanuribe of Lagos), Alhaji Mustapha Muhammadu, and two others have died in a road accident during a trip with the Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, to Mafa.
The governor, who was accompanied by a large crowd of political associates and government officials, had on Tuesday taken a short trip to Mafa Local Government Area, where he hails from, to register in the ongoing All Progressives Congress (APC) Registration and Revalidation exercise.
In the convoy with the governor were the Deputy Governor, Alhaji Umar Kadafur; Senator Kashim Shettima (Borno Central); APC State Caretaker Chairman, Alhaji Ali Dalori; the Chief of Staff, Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the state House of Assembly, members of National and state Assemblies, members of the state Executive Council, some council chairmen, governor’s aides and other prominent politicians and members of the public.
A source said the private vehicle of Mai Kanuribe, who was at the rear of the large convoy, had a burst tyre and somersaulted, causing the immediate death of the chief and one other occupier of the vehicle.
The driver was said to have died later at the hospital as he could not survive the injuries from the accident.
A source said: “The governor and his entourage on Tuesday went to his hometown, Mafa Local Government Area, to participate in the ongoing All Progressives Congress (APC) Registration and Revalidation exercise, unfortunately, while on their way back after the exercise, one of the vehicles in the convoy, conveying the Mai Kanuribe of Lagos had a road mishap and crashed along Mafa-Maiduguri road.
“Two occupants including Mai Kanuribe of Lagos, Alhaji Mustapha Muhammadu, died on the spot while the driver who sustained serious injuries later died some few hours after.”
Sources said the governor and the entourage evacuated the remains of the deceased to their family house in Maiduguri.
A Mai Kanuribe’s family member, who spoke anonymously, said: “Innaillahi, death has occurred of Mai Mustapha Muhammed, the Mai Kanuribe of Lagos State in a ghastly motor accident along Mafa Road, Borno State. The burial is scheduled for 2.30 pm today (Tuesday) at his residence in Bulumkuttu ward of Maiduguri.”
A police source, while confirming the incident, said it happened after the governor had registered in the ongoing party’s registration and was returning from Mafa Local Government Area.
He said: “The vehicle conveying the Mai-Kanuribe, a district head of Borno in Lagos somersaulted after one of the back tyre burst, leading to his death and one other passenger.“Two of the injured victims were rushed to the hospital in Maiduguri, while the corpses of the two deceased persons were brought to Maiduguri for funeral prayers.”Meanwhile, the spokesman of Borno State Governor, Mallam Isa Gusau, has denied the claim that the governor’s convoy was involved in an accident.
Gusau, in a statement on Tuesday, said the news reports stating that the convoy of his boss was involved in an accident was “completely inaccurate”.
The statement read in part: ”While acknowledging with so much grief, empathy for the bereaved families, honour and the highest respect for the memory of the Mai Kanuribe of Lagos, Alhaji Mustapha Muhammad, who alongside two others, died in a car accident along Maiduguri-Mafa road on Tuesday in Borno State, we hereby clarify that the convoy of Governor Babagana Umara Zulum was not in any way involved in the accident referred to. The news report was completely inaccurate.
“The Mai had no doubt travelled to Mafa and the trip was in solidarity with Governor Zulum’s administration and the APC. However, the Mai left Mafa on his way back to Maiduguri, while the governor was still in Mafa.
“The governor alongside Senator Kashim Shettima and some leaders, came across the accident on their way back from Mafa and as expected, the governor and those accompanying him, followed bodies of the Mai, and others, to their families in Maiduguri, empathized with bereaved families and took part in funerals.”
He however added that: “This clarification does not in anyway aim to disown the late Mai, but to put the record as it is.
“Governor Zulum deeply recognizes the fact that the late Mai Kanuribe, a leader with open passion for the progress of Borno and its people, undertook his last journey to Mafa, in honour of Zulum administration and the APC.
“The governor very deeply shares the grief of the Mai’s bereaved family, and families of those who died with him. Zulum mourns with them.
“The governor prays that Allah forgives the shortcomings of the Mai, and those who died with him, and admits all of them into Aljanna Firdaus.”