By Abah Nnanna, Abakaliki
The decaying body of All Progressive Congress, (APC) Ebonyi State chapter Youth Leader, Ogochukwu Elem has been evacuated from a mining pit in the state.
Also pulled from the mining pit were the bodies of two others with him when his car plunged into the pit on Saturday.
They were pulled from the pit by combined efforts of a crane supplied by the state ministry of infrastructure and local divers on Monday.
Elem and the other occupants were on their way to Ikwo for a function when the car losses control and plunged into the pit off the Abakaliki-Ikwo road.
The incident happened at Enyigba axis of the road in Abakaliki local government area.
Efforts to pull out the victims and the car failed on Saturday and Sunday.
However, the victims and the Volwagen Golf car which the victims were driving in was also pulled from the pit on Monday.
Governor David Umahi was on hand to direct the search and rescue operations.
He mourned the death of Mr Elem and the two others believed to be police escorts.
The visibly angry governor condemned the activities of miners who dig the mining pits indiscriminately thereby endangering the lives of the people and the destroying the environment.
He said his government will set up a committee to look into the issue warning tht from henceforth his administration will not tolerate such practice from miners in the state.
He said: “We learnt of the unfortunate incident of an accident here on this road that was on Saturday. The accident is still a mystery to all of us, that was the APC Youth Leader with some policemen that were going for a function and the accident happened”.
“We do not know the cause of the accident, we do not know what happened but it’s quite very mysterious how it happened that even the wages of the sand could not stop them and the small vehicle plunged into a pit that was dug over 20 years and not closed.
“It is very unfortunate and we have been fighting this issue of digging pits, harvesting lead, zinc and shippings without closing it back”.
“We have been fighting with miners in Ebonyi state over this issue. And so, the Chief of Staff is here who also doubles as the Commissioner for Solid Mineral”.
“We are going to identify all the pits in Ebonyi state whether it was dug for lead, for zinc, for shippings or any other mineral in Ebonyi state. we have to identify who did it and then the closing of these pits must commence latest by next week Monday”.
Mr Umahi also commiserated with the APC and the Nigerian Police over the loss.