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‘ FUTA Three’ killed on the ‘eve of graduation’

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•300-level undergraduate too

By Dayo Johnson, Akure

To conclude that the  death of three final year and a 300- level students of the Federal University of Technology Akure, FUTA,  Ondo State in an auto crash was sad and painful is an understatement.

No word is too big  to describe the agony of the parents and family members of the students who had gone far in their education.

The parents have however taken solace in the Christianity  admonition: “ In all things we should give thanks”.

It was crying and wailing penultimate Saturday when  the news of the death of the   students filtered into  campus.

The tension in the university  was so high that everyone wore a long face. The atmosphere was sombre and a visitor to the institution would easily decipher that something tragic had happened.

Students gathered in groups to pray and cry in the open field  and lecture theatres while lecturers and other university workers discussed the ugly incident in hush voices. Traffic inside the university was thin.

For  three days,the university community mourned the four students whose lives were cut short in the auto crash.

Lectures were suspended.

FUTA 3That Saturday was indeed a black day in FUTA as lecturers and students cried and wailed openly.

The 500-level students who died in the crash include  Olaleye Israel Olumide -mathematics and statistics, Owadayo Funke-microbiology,  Abolarinwa Olaniyi-electrical and electronics engineering  while Oke Oluwatosin was a 300-level student of electrical and electronics engineering.

A  source hinted Sunday  Vanguard that the students,  under the umbrella of the Campus Christian Outreach Programme, were returning from a mission conference tagged, “PAROUSIA” in Ibadan, Oyo State when the unfortunate incident happened.

Fifteen   students went for the conference in the FUTA campus fellowship bus. Thirteen of them are students of   the university and   members of   different campus fellowships while the Coordinator of PAROUSIA for Akure Zone and   another student of the University of Benin, Edo State accompanied the bus on the religious journey which claimed the lives of four of them and left 11 others maimed with serious injuries.

It was  gathered that  one of the students  was driving the bus when the accident  happened few kilometers back to FUTA.  The crash, according to eyewitness account, occurred along the Ilesha-Akure Expressway. Report had it that the bus conveying the students, on getting to  Ibulesoro town in Ifedore council area of the state,  skidded off the expressway after a motorcyclist recklessly crossed the road.

The driver , who was trying to maneuver the bus  in order not to crush the motorcyclist, lost control and crashed.

The bus reportedly  somersaulted several times before it finally stopped.

The four deceased students, it was learnt, died on the spot while 11 survivors were rushed to  hospital for medical attention.

They were admitted at Ondo State Specialist Hospital, Akure  where they were rushed to by sympathizers.

The  FUTA Students Union President  Segun Oladele told Sunday Vanguard that the parents of the deceased students had been informed and already claimed the corpses.

Oladele added that  some of those injured had been discharged from hospital.

A three-day of mourning according to him had been declared in the university  which will be lecture free.

He noted that a candle night processing was equally held in FUTA in honor of the departed souls .

Ondo State Police Command spokesman,  Femi Joseph,  said officers from the command and those  of the Federal Road Safety Commission responded swiftly   to the accident and rushed those injured to hospital.

Officials of the FRSC in the state attributed the accident to   over-speeding and loss  of concentration on the part of the students vehicle involved.

The   Public Relations Officer of the university, Mr Adegbenro Adebanjo, said the students were on a private religious trip when the accident happened.

Adegbenro noted that the management of FUTA  was doing all it could to give those in the  hospital the best treatment. He confirmed that the parents of those who died in the crash have since claimed their corpses

He commiserated with the families of the deceased students and their colleagues.

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