The accidented bus
From James Sowole in Akure
Only a few hours earlier they participated actively at an award ceremony in Abuja by the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) for the investiture of the Ondo State Governor Olusegun Mimiko as Governor of The Year.
On their way back to school late Friday, three students union leaders from the state lost their lives in a fatal automobile accident.
The students leaders were Dapo Awopegba, student union president of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), Abiodun Akintola of the Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo and the student union leader of the Ondo State School of Midwifery, Akure.
THISDAY learnt the accident involving the vehicle conveying them occurred around Emure-Ile Junction along Owo-Akure Road.
An oncoming trailer was said to have rammed into the vehicle, thus resulting in the death of the student leaders while others in the vehicle survived.
The deceased along with some of their colleagues in the bus were rushed to the Federal Medical Centre, Owo, after the accident. They were later brought to the State Specialist Hospital, Akure from the FMC Owo, where the trio were confirmed dead. It was learnt that others who sustained various injuries in the crash are at present receiving treatment at the hospital.
The Police Public Relations Officer for the Ondo State Command, Mr Aremu Adeniran, confirmed the development.
explaining that the accident that claimed the lives of the students’ leaders was a lone one involving the bus donated recently by the Ondo State Government to the Joint Campus Committee of NANS.
THISDAY gathered that the students had earlier in the day escaped attack by armed robbers on their way home before the fatal accident.
The remains of the dead students were deposited at a the State Specialist Hospital mogue in Akure.
Apart from Mimiko, other eminent Nigerians also bagged various awards from NANS.
Governor Mimiko has, however, described as painful and shocking to the government, the death of three students union leaders.
Speaking during a visit to survivors of the accident currently receiving treatment at the Federal Medical Centre, Owo, Mimiko, who rushed down to Akure from Lagos upon hearing of the incident, described it as one accident too many.
While commiserating with the families of the victims and the student body at large, the governor described the death as a painful loss and prayed God to give the state, the families and indeed the student body the strength to bear the loss.
He said the state government would do everything in its power to ensure that the survivors have access to first class treatment for quick recovery.
“This accident, and the attendant loss, is absolutely painful to the government and people of Ondo State. I can feel the pains of the families, the students and all men and women of goodwill right in my heart. We are, however, sobered by the fact that young as the students were, they were leaders of their groups and contributors to the development of our society.
“A big vacuum has been created by this sad loss. The duty we owe is to make sure the survivors have access to urgent and focused medical care,” Mimiko said.
Meanwhile, FUTA students have protested against the activities of trailers on the Akure-Owo road, insisting that government must restrict their movement to the night. .
After getting details of how the accident that claimed the lives of their colleagues occurred, the students trooped to the streets in protest against long vehicle drivers on the roads in the state imploring the government to regulate their activities.
Men of the Nigerian Police Force were, however, on hand to prevent hoodlums from hijacking the protest..