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Three siblings, others crushed to death as AAUA management postpones exam to mourn victims

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One killed in Bauchi
Residents of Akungba Akoko are still grieving over death of five students of Adekunle Ajasin University, (AAUA), killed in their prime on Saturday, January 23, 2021 by a cement laden truck.

In recent times, several persons have lost their lives to road accidents in Akungba, Ikare, Oka-Akoko axis, making the students of the university prone to untimely and avoidable deaths.

Aside the involvement of the immediate past Student Union Government (SUG) President and final year Law student of the university, Samuel Tobiloba Adesomoju, popularly known as Sampraise in the ghastly accident, three siblings and one other, Olayemi Agboola, also died in the tragic event.

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The late siblings were: two brothers, Ayodele Ben Ojinni and Pope Kelvin Ojinni, with their step-sister, Oluwaseun Ojinni, who was the first female President of the Department of Business Administration.

The late Oluwaseun was popularly called “Topmost” by her admirers. According to sources at Akungba Akoko, Seun Ojinni was in a shop with her siblings when the truck rammed into them, killing several others within the scene of the accident.
The Guardian learnt that one of the mothers reportedly died instantly after hearing the sad news, though the report was unconfirmed as at press time.

The fatal accident was caused by a fully-loaded truck of Dangote Cement from Obajana, Kogi State, which had brake failure and lost control, ramming into shops near the university gate and killing several persons.

Although the exact number of persons who lost their lives in the accident was not ascertained, eyewitnesses said 12 bodies were recovered, but the state police command disclosed that eight persons died.

The state Police Public Relation Officer (PPRO), ASP Tee-Leo Ikoro, confirmed eight fatalities including students and traders in the university community located in Akoko South West Local Government Area of the state.

An alumnus of the university and friend to the late SUG President, Ayodele Oyedokun, described the accident as “heart-wrenching,” lamenting that he lost people who are very dear to him.

Oyedokun disclosed that he contested the same SUG position with the deceased in 2018 but lost, revealing that both of them consolidated on their friendship as union leaders on campus.

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“He nominated me as the Chairman of the Students’ Union Week and we were together in many struggles. I had conversation with him few days ago taunting him of being my junior colleague since he has a session left as a Law student.”

He recounted that “Another person is the Departmental President of Business Administration, Oluwaseun Ojinni, who is the first lady to achieve such feat, a very friendly and intelligent Comrade.

“She also lost her two brothers in the unfortunate incident. As at now, the number of dead persons can’t be ascertained. A very big loss for the institution and host community, it is a very bitter pill for me to swallow.”

A former Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Jumoke Akindele, blamed government for not taking preventive measures to check the incessant road accidents in the area, accusing them of failing in their responsibilities to protect lives and property.

“How many more lives must we lose before something is done about Akungba? There are elected officials who are supposed to be representing these people in both the state and the National Assembly. There is a council chairman somewhere too.

“Mr Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, we know that the road that runs through that town is a Federal road but don’t forget that the people voted for you too. Don’t abandon them to their fate. With the many fatalities that have been recorded particularly in recent times, it is a very sorry fate indeed.”

Management of the university, through the Acting Registrar, Mrs. Opeoluwa Akinfemiwa, also regretted the fatal accident, commiserated with the students and host communities on the losses.

“Management had also informed Government about this unfortunate incident and we are working with government to prevent a reoccurrence. Meanwhile, as a temporary measure, management has directed that the main gate should be closed with immediate effect.

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“Staff and students are therefore requested to make use of the following: Sports Center gate, Guest House gate, Eastern gate and the two small gates (i.e the one leading to the Works & Services Department and the one leading to the Student Union building).”

Akinfemiwa added that “As a mark of respect for our departed students, the examinations scheduled to start on Monday, January 24, 2021, is hereby postponed till further notice. We appeal to our students to remain calm, as the University mourns those that lost their lives in this unfortunate incident.”

She assured: “The University and the Ondo State Government are working round the clock to institute permanent solutions to the problem of incessant road accidents along Ikare-Akungba road.”

Meanwhile, one person was feared dead while three others sustained varying degrees of injury when a pickup vehicle rammed into roadside traders in Bauchi, the Bauchi State capital.

Deputy Corps Commander, Operations, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Bauchi State, Mr. Muhammed Bature, who confirmed the accident on Sunday, said the incident occurred on Saturday night as a result of excessive speeding by the driver.

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