By GABRIEL ENOGHOLASE & ABDALLAH EL-KUREBE
Bodinga(Sokoto)— EIGHTEEN persons, yesterday, died in auto accidents in Benin and Sokoto . In the accident that occurred at Okada junction on the Benin-Ore dual carriageway, 11 people, including two children died.
The accident which occurred about 4p.m. involved a commercial bus belonging to Peace Mass Transit Company and a truck conveying goods towards the Lagos end of the road.
The remains of the dead were said to have been evacuated from the scene by Federal Road Safety Corps officials. It was gathered that a couple who were allegedly going for their wedding arrangement, and another woman who was going for burial were among those who lost their lives.
According to one of the four survivors of the accident, Mr. Anthony Ndubuisi, a South Africa-based footballer who spoke to newsmen in the accident and emergency unit of University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), the Onitsha-bound bus took off at Ojuelegba Motor Park in Lagos with 17 passengers including two small children belonging to two of the adult passengers.
Ndubisi, who plays for Jomo Cosmos FC of South Africa, attributed the accident to overspeeding and recklessness on the part of the driver.
He said that the driver, who allegedly escaped unhurt, was driving on the opposite lane and was overtaking another vehicle on top speed, when he had an head-on collision with a trailer that was coming on top speed in the opposite direction.
The accident which occurred on Sokoto- Bodinga Road, late Wednesday evening, claimed the lives of seven members of the family of a Sokoto-based electronics dealer, Alhaji Jekada Sifawa.
The accident involved a Sienna vehicle, driven by a teenager, who was said to have lost control of the vehicle because he was on his mobile phone while driving.
It was also gathered that all the 15 people in the vehicle were of the Jekada Sifawa family and were said to be going back to Sifawa village in Bodinga Local Government Area from Sokoto.
When the driver lost control of the car, he swerved off the road and hit a tree.
The Sector Commander of Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, Alhaji Bawa Datsama disclosed that the deceased included three boys, three women and one-year old girl.
According to Datsama, “The driver escaped unhurt while six of the deceased died yesterday and another teenage girl gave up today at the Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto.”
He added that the remaining seven persons that were injured were responding to treatment at the Hospital. “The injured persons and the deceased were rescued at around 6pm, yesterday by the Command’s members of Sallah rescue team”, he said
All the deceased are said to have been buried in Sifawa village according to Islamic rites.