Niger Delta highlife singer, Ikesima Brown, and five members of a prominent Ijaw musical band, Chief Barrister Smooth, have died in a ghastly car accident.
It was gathered that the incident occurred on Sunday, June 11, 2023, while the band members were heading from Warri to Abuja for a show
The band was on their way to the show when their bus collided with a petrol tanker along the Abuja/Lokoja highwaNASSo
It was reported that the ill-fated vehicle, which was carrying the popular band, had been engaged by a state government to perform at the swearing-in reception of National Assembly members in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to an eyewitness account, the band members boarded a train from Warri to Kogi and were en route to Abuja when the Toyota Sienna car in which they were traveling crashed into a fuel tanker, resulting in their death.
The deceased have been identified as Chief Joseph Ekeremieye, Ikesima Brown, Ebis Awiki, Sololo, Tuku Eniekebi, and one other.
Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, expressed deep sadness over the twin accidents that claimed the lives of no fewer than 10 Ijaw indigenes.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, on Monday, Diri described the tragic incident as a Black Sunday for Bayelsa and the Ijaw nation.
The Bayelsa governor also extended his condolences to the families of the deceased and Barrister Smooth, acknowledging that the deaths of these young individuals who were actively impacting lives through their musical talent is a great loss to the state.
He said, “In one of the crashes along the Kogi-Abuja road, six band members of the popular Ijaw musician, Barrister Smooth, died, while the other accident along the Kwale-Asaba highway in Delta State claimed the lives of four supporters of the Bayelsa Queens Football Club.
“On behalf of the government and people of Bayelsa State, I extend our deepest sympathies to the families of the deceased. I also commiserate with the leader of the band, Barrister Smooth. These are very unfortunate and sad incidents that claimed the lives of our active youths.
“It is a great loss to our state and the Ijaw nation as young talents and breadwinners, who were following their passion, have suddenly departed. I pray that the Lord consoles the families for the painful loss that they have suffered. I also pray for quick healing and recovery for those who were injured.”