Residents of Ogolonto, Idiroko and Majidun areas of Ikorodu yesterday embarked on a protest as a BRT bus crushed a 15-yearold boy to death.
The boy, identified as Ezekiel Daniel, a primary four pupil of Cherubim and Seraphim School II, Lagos Road, Idiroko, Majidun, was killed about 7.30a.m., as he was crossing the BRT corridor on his way to school. Witnesses said the BRT driver zoomed off immediately the accident occurred, for fear of mob action.
This came as two pupils of Our Lady of Fatima Nursery and Primary School, Kuru, Jenta in Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State yesterday died in an accident on their way to school.
Also yesterday, a student of Adeyemi College of Education (ACE), Ondo, was killed while two others sustained serious injuries when a driver rammed into them on Ondo-Ore Road in Ondo West Local Government Area of Ondo State.
There was pandemonium at Majidun area as enraged youths blocked the road and set bonfires on the BRT corridor to protest the killing. It took the deployment of the police and soldiers to restore peace in the area.
When our correspondent visited the school, teachers gathered in groups to discuss Daniel’s death. However, none of the teachers was ready to comment on the accident. Efforts to get the heads of the school were not successful as they were said to have gone to the Ikorodu General Hospital where Daniel’s body was taken to.
Some residents and witnesses blamed the recklessness of the BRT driver for the unfortunate incident. But the two men in charge of security of the school, who expressed shock, said the boy did not wait for signals from them before crossing. For some of the women in the area, it was one accident too many.
“This is so painful. It is not the first time such an accident has happened here. We need pedestrian bridge here. I am appealing to the Lagos State government to, as a matter of urgency, build a pedestrian bridge here.
“There are five schools in this area, as you can see; so a lot of children have to cross this part of the road every day, especially Monday to Friday. The BRT pedestrian bridge for Ogolonto Bust Stop is too far from here.
Also, there are no speed breakers here too. Please let them help us, and save our children from these reckless drivers,” one of the women said. In the Plateau State accident, 100 pupils and seven staff were in the bus going school when it summersaulted several times.
Two of the children lost their lives while the critically injured were receiving treatment at the Plateau State Specialist Hospital. Governor Simon Lalong, who had embarked on a state tour of projects to be inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari, had to immediately visit hospital. Lalong cautioned drivers to be careful, especially when taking pupils to school.
The governor said he had to immediately rush to the hospital when he was told of the incident. He said: “I was going to inspect projects, but had to immediately rush to the hospital to know the state of their condition. Some have been treated while some are still receiving treatment and their condition is better now.”
When our correspondent visited the hospital, 76 of the pupils were receiving medical attention, while 18 of them were at Ola Hospital. The school proprietor, Rev Sister Florence Golam, who was calming the frightened children, said she had no details of the accident. She, however, disclosed that two of the pupils lost their lives. Parents were trooping the hospital to ascertain the state of their children while doctors and nurses were attending to the injured pupils.
It was learnt that the accident occurred when the school bus had a break failure while conveying the children to school.
The ACE student’s death led to violent protest by the students of the institution. The students, who went on the rampage, disrupted social and commercial activities on the ever busy road. A student, who did not want his name in print, said the driver was reckless. The students, who rushed the three victims to the Trauma Centre in Ondo town, blocked the main road leading to the school.