Dayo Johnson, Akure
SIGNS of abject poverty in the society was evident on Thursday in Akure, Ondo State capital as miscreants exchanged blows over the sharing formular to be adopted for the 11 cows crushed to death by a luxurious bus.
The accident, according to Sunday Vanguard investigation, occurred around 4am along the Akure-Owo expressway in Akure.
No death was recorded or any passenger wounded in the bus. But the sleep of many of them was disrupted following the accident.
Immediately the news of the accident filtered to the miscreants they mobilised themselves in their hundreds and the invaded the scene as early as 5am.
Armed with knives and cutlasses, the miscreants removed the dead cows before day break.
Argument about where it would be safe for them to carry the cows to for sharing reportedly caused confusion..
It was later agreed that it should be 12 to a cow and within few minutes they have divided themselves into groups and each group organised a vehicle to convey their own ‘loot’.
Sunday Vanguard gathered that fight broke out among the miscreants over how many people will share the cows and who should take which part of the animals.
Eyewitness account said that the luxurious bus, marked Anambra KPP 158XA, was coming from Abuja and heading for Lagos when the accident occurred at the Sebi Filling Station in Akure along the expressway.
Immediately the accident occurred, the herdsmen in charge of the cows reportedly fled into the bush for fear that they may be lynched.
It was gathered that two herdsmen were with the over 25 cows when the crash occurred.
The younger herdsmen, it was learnt, had allowed the cows to cross the road without checking if it was cleared to do so. Also, the driver and passengers in the luxurious bus fled the scene thinking that the Fulani herdmen may mobilise to vent their anger on them.
It was learnt that the driver and the passengers had to hide inside the bush till day break.
Speaking with Sunday Vanguard, one of the passenger of the bus, Rosemary Nwachukwu, said the accident occurred at about 4am on Thursday.
She said many of the passengers were sleeping when the incident occurred.
“ When we suddenly saw cows on the expressway, many of us that were awake thought it was one of the antics of armed robbers.
“ We later learnt that it was not armed robbery attack but carelessness on the party of the herdsmen who crossed the cows without making sure that the expressway was free of vehicles”.
Sunday Vanguard gathered that the driver of the bus on sighting the cows crossing the road thought it was an armed robbery attack. He was said to have maneuvered the bus but the cows were too many on the expressway hence the number of the animals that were killed instantly.
The sound of the crash reportedly attracted the people living along the expressway to the scene.
Many of the cows were reportedly dragged off the expressway by travellers plying the road.
A police officer at the scene of the accident said it was discovered that the herdsmen caused the accident by making the cows to cross the expressway without checking if it was free or not.
Meanwhile, the police image maker in Ondo State, Wole Ogodo, said he was not aware of the crash.