By Evelyn Usman
Distraught mother of 27-year-old Ajoku Chidinma, who was killed by a container that fell off a truck at Ilasamaja bus-stop along the Oshodi- Apapa expressway, has called on the Police to arrest the fleeing truck driver and owner of the truck.
Late Chidinma, who was a staff of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, boarded a commercial bus from Airport road to Mile two, after the close of work, with one of her colleagues, simply identified as Chima.
It was gathered that driver of the commercial bus had stopped at Ilasa bus-stop to either pick or drop passengers when a 20ft container fell off a moving truck and landed on the commercial vehicle.
Chidinma and Chima died on the spot.
Vanguard gathered that two other passengers died on the way to the hospital, while others who sustained various degrees of injuries, were rushed to the Emergency Unit of the Isolo General Hospital.
Her distraught mother, Mrs Chineze Ajoku, who was recovering from the demise of her husband, could not be consoled as she described her daughter’s death as devastating.
In this interview, she called on the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Police Command, Hakeem Odumosu, to ensure that the fleeing killer driver and owner of the truck were arrested.
Blaming the death of her daughter on the recklessness of the fleeing driver, she said, “My daughter was just 27 years old. She graduated from Babcock University and had plans to travel abroad for her Masters soon, only to have life snuffed out of such a promising girl and her colleague.
“On that fateful day, I was waiting for her to return home. I dialled her number, no response. I called her aunt whom she stayed with at Surulere.
“Both of us didn’t sleep until 6 am when a colleague of hers called me to inform that they were involved in an accident and that they were at the Isolo General Hospital.
“When we got there (General Hospital Isolo), we were told they were not among those brought in. We were referred to the government hospital, Yaba, where they told us to go and check the morgue.
“My friend’s husband and my sons went to check the morgue, only to find my daughter and her colleague’s bodies.
“This incident of a container falling on a vehicle is getting too much. These container drivers keep killing people and nobody is talking. I appeal to the authority concerned to bring these people to book.
“The government should do something because It is getting too much especially in Lagos. There was a time these trucks were virtually off the road in the day and were only allowed to ply at night.
“Now, they are everywhere, driving recklessly. I don’t know what they drink while driving, which makes the containers to fall off. There had been similar cases like my late daughter’s and nothing was done to bring justice to the victims.
“My daughter’s can’t go just like that If my daughter’s case will be used to stop these unwarranted killings, then, let it be what I have achieved.
“I know they will say I am a nobody. But I think everybody in Lagos, whether you have a car or not, our lives are in danger because we encounter these reckless trailers and containers every day.
“We should champion this course together and should not wait until more persons are killed”.
At this point, she broke down in tears afresh as sympathisers tried to console her.
Continuing, she said, “I sent a cousin to the Ilasa Police Station and the Police said they could not trace the owner of the truck. We were told that the driver and conductor took off with the truck’s particulars.
“Again we were told that the owner of the truck called to say he was coming. But nothing has been heard so far. All I demand is justice for my late daughter, Chidimma”.