A hit-and-run driver on Sunday killed Mr Christian Okoro, the Head of Technical Services of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Okoro, 50, was killed around `sharp corner’ area of Mararaba, along the Keffi-Abuja Road, while trying to cross the road to pick his car.
An eye witness account indicated that Okoro had gone to watch the Nigeria/Algeria AFCON Semi-Final encounter at a football viewing centre and was on his way home after the match when the speeding vehicle knocked him down and zoomed off.
He was said to have earlier gone for his community meeting and was heading home when he decided to join some friends to watch the crucial match.
“The car was speeding, so when it hit Okoro, the impact was very heavy on him. He died instantly,” the witness told NAN.
Meanwhile, Okoro’s corpse has been deposited at the National Hospital, Abuja mortuary, while a condolence register has been opened at the NAN headquarters in Abuja.
A senior Police officer, who confirmed the incident, described it as “saddening and unfortunate”.
“The matter has been reported to us and is being investigated,” the officer told NAN, craving anonymity.
Born on June 20, 1969 in Enugu-Ezike, Igbo Eze North Local Government in Enugu State, Okoro attended St. Theresa College, Nsukka, Enugu State before heading to the Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Enugu, where he bagged a Bsc in Electrical/Electronics.
He was a member of the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE), and the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN).
He joined the services of newsmen on January 8, 2004 and steadily rose to become an Assistant Director, Technical Services.
He is survived by his widow, Cordelia, and four children.
The Acting Managing Director of newsmen, Malam Ibrahim Mammaga, who led the management and staff of NAN to pay a condolence visit to his family, described Okoro’s death as “a huge loss” to the NAN family.
“The death of Okoro has robbed newsmen of a dedicated staff. Okoro was a huge asset to the agency. He has left a vacuum that will be difficult to fill,” he said.
He prayed God to grant the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
Alhaji Abdulhadi Khaliel, Head, Administration and Human Resources Management (A/HRM), who also reacted to Okoro’s death described it as “devastating and painful”.
“Okoro was a peace-loving officer, who was committed to duty and always ready to learn,” he said.
Mr Julius Enehikhuere, a Deputy Editor-in-Chief, described Okoro as “a jolly good fellow and a committed staff who was always there for the editorial department”.
“We shall miss his team spirit and deep commitment to duty. His sudden exit is shocking to all of us. We pray God to comfort the family,” he said.
The agency’s Assistant Director A/HRM, Mr Moses Uzoagba, also described Okoro’s death as “a personal loss to me”.
“Okoro, apart from being a colleague, was my personal friend. We have been together for years and I will greatly miss him,” he said.
Another staff, Mr Livinus Ugochukwu, said that Okoro was a personal friend whose death had hit him like a thunderbolt.
“The news shocked me to my marrows; I am particularly sad because his children are still very young,” he said.
Mrs. Kemi Olumorin, who worked with Okoro in the office, described him as “a transparent boss that was always ready to listen to his subordinates”.
“He was approachable; he had a listening ear and was a good boss. He was a very considerate leader and could feel your pains,” she said.