Ojodu mishap: Group tasks authorities on safety of school children
Five weeks after the accident that killed two students of Babs Fafunwa Millennium Secondary School, Ojodu-Berger, Lagos, a child safety Non-Governmental Organisation, Strap and Safe Child Foundation has called on Nigeria authorities to fix the infrastructural deficits that caused the avoidable fatal accident of December 7 2021.
The accident claimed the lives of Adedoyin Adebayo and Israel Akpolebi, both students of Babs Fafunwa Millennium Secondary School, while 12 pupils (seven females and five males) were severely injured by a trailer moving at top speed.
The Guardian learnt that the truck driver was driving recklessly and ran into the helpless scholars just by Grammar School Bus-Stop in Ojodu, Lagos.
But Strap and Safe Foundation noted that despite the incident, appropriate government parastatals are yet to do the needful to avert another mishap in that area.
The convener of the group, Bolanle Edwards in a statement, yesterday said Section 2 (1&2) of the Child Right Act 2007, which states that a child should be given protection and care necessary for his well‐being has not changed and it still buttresses the safety and well-being of the Nigerian child.
She said: “As a child safety Non-Governmental Organisation, we at Strap and Safe Child Foundation have been trying to get the appropriate government parastatal to do the needful to avoid another mishap in that area, all to no avail.
“We keep wondering what has happened to selfless service and empathy to humanity? Schools have resumed and it’s dangerous as usual on that route. It is just like they say: “the show must continue”.
“What is wrong with us as a people and nation? How can we forget horrific events so easily?”
Bolanle called on relevant stakeholders to collaborate in the change process by making sure that a proper speed breaker is installed at the Grammar School bus stop, a ‘30km/hour School Zone’ sign is erected there, a reflective zebra crossing is marked for safe pedestrian crossing, proper walkways are designed and that the front gate of Babs Fafunwa Millennium Secondary School, which dangerously opens onto the major road is permanently shut while the side street gates are used instead.
“Sadly enough, the Adebayos and Akpolebis will never see their children again. Christmas can never be the same for them. They will not be graduating nor will they be able to fulfill their God-given assignments. Even the survivors will nurse injuries for a long time while some of them are maimed for life.
“For how long are we going to keep sacrificing our young and old; painfully sending innocent lives to early graves?
“We must be intentional about bringing the needful changes as well as securing the future,” she added.