Kwara road crashes: One tragedy too many

Two major road accidents in less than one month have thrown the academic community and some family members into mourning in Ilorin kwara state capital. UMAR BAYO ABDULWAHAB reports.

Sad moments

For the two major institution of higher learning in kwara state namely the kwara State University Malete and Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin, this is certainly not the best of time for the authorities, staff and students of the two state-owned institutions following recent fatal road accidents which have claimed lives of some of its staff and students.

In quick successions, the two institutions recorded casualties arising from road accidents which occurred in Niger state involving their staff, students and prospective corps member.

While the first incident claimed the lives of two prospective corps members who graduated from the kwara state Polytechnic, Ilorin and were on their way to resume at the NYSC orientation camp in Taraba, the other incidents which occurred three weeks after claimed the lives of a staff and students of kwara state university in Malete.

KWASU’s tragedy 

On Monday last week, a newly wedded lecturer, Romoke Sulyman of Department of Environmental Studies and another postgraduate student both of the Kwara State University (KWASU),Malete  reportedly died in a ghastly motor accident. The incident occurred on the Minna-Lambata road.

Seven other passengers were also badly injured in the crash while six others escaped unscathed

The accident, which involved one of the university’s buses carrying 15 staff and students, was occurred few days after the first one which claimed the lives of two prospective corps members of Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin.

The two tragic incidents have left behind pathetic stores as families, colleagues and loved ones of the deceased persons wailed and gnashed their teeth.

Colossal losses

While the first incident claimed the lives of two prospective corps members who graduated from the state polytechnic, Ilorin and were on their way to resume at the NYSC orientation camp in Taraba ,the other incidents which occurred three weeks after (Monday) last week claimed the lives of a female lecturer and students of the state’s university Malete.

In the first incident, one of the late prospective corps members, Mustafa Ajibola Habitat, was said to be the only child of her parents.

Similarly, in the second incident, one of the deceased was a female lecturer of the state university, Malete by the name Romoke Sulyman who wedded less than two months ago, precisely on September 27, 2019.

Recurring cases of tyre burst

Regrettably, in similar circumstances, the causes of the two accidents were as a result of tyre burst. In the first incident which claimed the lives of late prospective corps members, it was gathered that the nine-passenger Sienna commercial bus conveying them tumbled several times on the Mokwa road after its rear tyre got burst.

Two of the prospective corps members and the driver of the vehicle died on the spot. It was the same story with the second incident which occurred on Monday.

Mixed feelings

At its convocation ceremony held on the 7 the November, the management of Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin confirmed the death of two prospective corps members who reportedly died in a road accident enroute Taraba.

Rector of the polytechnic, Dr Abdul Jimoh Mohammed, announced the death of the students at the 26th convocation ceremony of the polytechnic.

He gave the names of the late prospective corps members as Yusuf Ademuyiwa and Mustafa Ajibola Habitat .

The duo according to him, were graduate of Science Laboratory Technology from of the institution. The rector used the occasion to also ask the congregation to observe a minute silence for soul of the departed.

He said six other survivors of the accident who also graduated from the polytechnic, were receiving treatment at the General Hospital, Ilorin where he visited them on morning before the commencement of convocation.

AbdulRasaq’s swift response

On the two occasions, the Kwara state governor, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRasaq, demonstrated a rare show of compassion for the survivors even as he mourned the departed ones. 

Apart from sending a high-powered delegation led by the secretary to the state government to Mokwa, the governor personally visited the survivors of the two accidents where they were receiving treatment in Abuja and Ilorin General Hospital describing the accident as ‘one tragedy too many’.

 “We are devastated by this sad development involving one female lecturer and an MSc student who left a heart-wrenching message that the government has taken note of. As believers, we submit to the will of God on this development. We condole with the families of the deceased and the entire university community. We urge them to stay strong in this very trying moment,” AbdulRazaq said in a statement by his spokesman, Rafiu Ajakaye.

“The governor has directed relevant authorities in the state to quickly take over the medical care of the injured.

“We also specially commend all the first responders who helped to take them to the hospitals and supported them, including Professor Musa Aibinu, head, Department of Mechatronics Engineering at the Federal University of Technology (FUT) Minna; Honourable Liman Shuaib representing Suleja (Abuja); staff and management of College of Health Technology, Minna; Lambatta Medical Centre; Izon General Hospital; the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC); and the police, among others,” the statement added.

Also on Tuesday evening, the governor visited KWASU lecturers, the students and their driver at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital to wish them quick recovery,” according to a terse statement by his spokesman Rafiu Ajakaye.

“The governor went round their wards to cheer them up. It’s an unfortunate situation but we remain faithful to God’s will. Again, he thanked the management and staff of the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital and all the first responders for their kind efforts.”

NYSC hails Kwara governor

Meanwhile, the NYSC has lauded AbdulRasaq for the immediate transfer of the survivors of Mokwa auto crash back to the state as part of measures to provide them with adequate medical care.

The NYSC zonal inspector in Mokwa, Ahmed Yusuf, said AbdulRasaq’s action which came few hours after the incident was exceptionally good and commendable.

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