By Ola Ajayi
Staff and students of the Polytechnic, Ibadan are still trying to cope with the bitter pills of losing nine people in an auto crash. It is one accident too many. That fateful day, Monday 8, 2016 was supposed to be a joyous day but it turned out to be a day they wished never came as their joy soon vanished into the thin air. One of them was rejoicing for the arrival of a new baby and as it is their custom to celebrate with one another, they boarded a hired bus from the Department of Quantity Surveying to Oyo town to rejoice with the family of the new baby.
None of them had an inkling that their joy would soon be sandwiched with sadness. They bade farewell to their loved ones not knowing it would be an eternal farewell. They had left Oyo town after the ceremony and were very close to Ibadan when the unimaginable incident happened. The story that soon forced their sun to set at dawn happened when they got to Omotunde Village. One of the tyres of the bus burst and veered off the road somersaulting severally. Six of them were not lucky as they reportedly died on the spot. Among the dead were three staff, Mrs Fatola D.O, Mrs Akintayo and one other.
Three others died in the hospital. Now, five more victims are said to be on danger list at the University College Hospital, Ibadan. When South West Voice got to the institution on Tuesday, it was indeed a black day as both students and staff wept uncontrollably for the deceased. One of the staff who simply identified himself as Afolabi was deep in sorrow describing the three staff as nice people. He said he was particularly sad over one of the deceased, who was a part time lecturer, Mrs. Akintayo D.O .
Another staff, Modupe said, “ this is very painful. You can see everybody in this institution are not in good mood. To mourn the dead, the management has declared two-mourning for both students and staff. The Sector Commander of the FRSC, Mr Yusuff Salami, the Public Relations Officer, The Polytechnic Ibadan, Mr Soladoye Adewole and the State Police Public Relations Officer, confirmed the sudden death of the people.
Soladoye said, “I just got the news not quite long. We have not been able to ascertain the number of deaths, but we have actually recorded some deaths. Our Director of Medical Services and Registrar, Mr Ezekiel Fehintola have gone to the scene. We have not been given full details of the incident”. Ajisebutu told South West Voice that six passengers died of the ill-fated bus, while thirteen others sustained serious injured.
At the University College Hospital, Ibadan where the survivors were taken to, the Public Affairs Officer, Mr. Deji Bobade said they were responding to treatment. According to him, some have been discharged this morning. “Yes, they are responding to treatment. Some of them have been discharged while two who had injuries to their heads are still critically down”.