Posted by From MOLLY KILETE, Abuja on
The Director, Army Public Relations and one time aide-de-camp (ADC) to former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, is dead. Brigadier-General Solomon Giwa-Amu died Monday in a motor accident that occured at the Abuja-Kaduna road on his way to Jaji, Kaduna State, for an official assignment.
The Director, Army Public Relations and one time aide-de-camp (ADC) to former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, is dead.
Brigadier-General Solomon Giwa-Amu died Monday in a motor accident that occured at the Abuja-Kaduna road on his way to Jaji, Kaduna State, for an official assignment.
News about the death filtered into Abuja around eight O’clock in the morning.
Daily Sun gathered that the Army spokeman, who was in a Toyota Hiace bus with some soldiers left Abuja in the morning for the journey, and along the way, the back tyre of the vehicle suddenly burst at Dikko, a village in Niger State.
The driver was said to have tried all he could to control the vehicle and bring the bus to a stop but could not due to a trailer which was ahead, going at a slow pace.
The driver, in his bid to prevent the bus from running under the trailer, reportedly lost control, which resulted into the vehicle somersaulting several times before coming to a halt.
Daily Sun gathered that Gen Giwa-Amu, who was sitting in the mid-section of the bus, was suddenly flung out, and smashed his head on a stone.
When the bus finally came to a stop, the soldiers embarked on a search for their boss, and found him on the ground, with his head on the big stone, bleeding. They carried him to the bus before making contact with Army authorities to tell them what had happened.
Daily Sun also gathered that Gen. Amu was still alive when they picked him from the ground, and he was rushed to the Suleja General Hospital.
It was on the way to the hospital that the director gave up the ghost, a fate confirmed by doctors on duty.
As soon as the news of the accident got to the Army Headquarters in Abuja, they quickly dispatched three ambulance vehicles with the medical team to the Suleja hospital to see what can be done to save Giwa-Amu and the other wounded soldiers from dying. But it was too late as they were told that he died as soon as they got to the hospital.
The medical team, led by Dr. Lieutenant-Colonel Agada, who is also the medical officer to the Chief of Defence Staff, then took the body of the late Giwa Amu into a Peugeot Expert ambulance car, covered it with an orange colour blanket, while his orderly, Salaudeen, who was in a very critical condition and in coma, was transfered into a Peugeot station wagon car, along with the remaining five soldiers, and driven to the National Hospital, Abuja.
A press release issued by the Army authorities Monday announcing the sudden death of Gen Amu, and signed by one Lieutenant-Colonel M.M. Yerima reads: "The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenat-General L.N. Yusuf, regrets to announce the death of the Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier-General Solomon Giwa-Amu. He died today as a result of injuries sustained following a road traffic accident along Kadun-Abuja road. Burial arrangements will be announced by the family later". When Daily Sun contacted the COAS on phone, the Chief, who is presently in Singapore on an official assignment, expressed shock over the loss and prayed God to grant the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
He said, "Solomon, was supposed to be with me here in Singapore, but had to stay back because of our programme on the barrack foundation that is coming up in March. I was shocked when somebody woke me up this morning to tell me that Solomon is no more. Well, the Bible says in everything we should give thanks, but I tell you I am so devastated by the news, I just cant believe it".
U.S.A, as he was popularly called among close friends and course mates, had only on Sunday, February 10, organized a thanksgiving service on his promotion to the rank of a Brigadier-General, and for his wife, who only few weeks ago bagged a PHD in Biological Science from the Lagos State University.
Solomon Giwa-Amu, who was appointed Army spokesman sometime last year, had told Daily Sun in an interview that his greatest priority was to bridge the gap between civillians and soldiers and make to make the average Nigerian love the military.
Edo State Governor, Senator (Prof.) Oserheimen Osunbor has expressed deep shock over the sudden demise.
According to Dan Aigbavboa, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, the Edo State Chief Executive "is saddened and pained by this great loss of a distinguished son of Edo State who, during his life time, brought pride and joy not only to his Sabongida-Ora community but also to the State and the nation."
Professor Osunbor recalled General Giwa-Amu’s contributions to the development of the state, especially towards the building of a modern library and other facilities in his alma-mater, Holy Trinity Grammar School, Sabongida-Ora.
The State Chief Executive described the late Army spokesman as a humble and diligent officer and gentleman who brought commitment and hardwork to the positions he held, first as Aide-de- Camp to former President Olusegun Obasanjo and later Defence Attachee to the Nigerian Embassy in New York, U.S.A.