The grave incident that occurred on Saturday, January 23, in Akungba is still a fresh regrettable memory and topical issue, most especially among the student populace of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko (AAUA). The institution like all other institutions of learning that were shut down for roughly 10 months as a result of the outbreak and widespread of Corona virus in the country, reopened on 18th of January, 2021. However, it could not remain opened and run her new academic itinerary for the completion of first semester beyond 23 January 23, 2021.
The fatal accident engineered by Dangote’s truck claimed over twenty (20) lives with several injured. Several students’ lives were cut short in this accident; amongst them was the immediate past SUG President in person of Adesomoju Samuel, a 500 level law student, and catalysis the Management’s decision to close the university indefinitely.
This is not even stating such as the first unfortunate occurrence, many lives have perished in similar fate on Akungba federal road.
However, the wild reactions to the recent one from all quarters, most especially students, shows we have endured more than enough. In fact, the lockdown experience of last year, which took students away from school for almost 10 months could be tagged as ‘a blessing of disappointment’, noting and knowing the series of fatal accidents that occurred in Akungba with many casualties recorded while the students were at home.
As if the myriads of challenges being faced by an average students studying in AAUA is not enough, the Akungba road have become a nightmare; apprehending all and sundry to fear, and has become the major challenge. In a bid to solve this problem, upon the unyielding response of the state government to our cries, the student’s populace were left to see God as the last hope and subsequently organised “Akungba Prayer Walk” which came up on January 23, 2021, in order to seek for God’s intervention. The program came up in the morning, we did it with utmost faith and seriousness for over two hours, and that same day, in the evening, was the accident which sent promising youths to the their early graves.
As expected, students and people started questioning the unquestionable God!
When I decided to write out my thoughts on this particular issue, I had to contemplate on two titles. First was “God Should Have Answered Our Prayers”, but then I realized I was already putting some unnecessary questions and blames on God. I later opted for “God Would Have Answered Our Prayers” as this will avail the ground for avoidance of blaming God and appropriately point to what, or probably who, was responsible for the avoidable road mishap.
Recall that on October 31, 2020, one of the many fatal accidents occurred and claimed over 20 lives, who were natives of Akungba. Thank God, the university was not on session. The following day was Sunday, Governor Akeredolu paid a condolence visit to Akungba where he made the promise of finding solutions to avert future occurrence. First was to enforce the relocation of Ibaka market, this was done, even though the market women had to occupy and carry out buying and sales on one of the street’s road and not an ultra-modern market built at a strategic place.
Second was the call for reconstruction of Akungba road, which is said to be too narrow. I could remember, Barr. Tolu Babaleye, like every other concerned citizens, called for road dualization from Akungba to Ikare as a lasting solution, or a way of reducing drastically the lingering road accident. Yet, no action was taken, or is still in progress.
It is a truism that the physical efforts of man is often needed to make God fulfil his (man’s) will. However, each time accident occur in Akungba, we begin to trend #PrayForAkungba, whereas the government have abandoned or absconded her responsibility for finding solutions to the immediate cause. At least, no bumps were even constructed on that road to even show government’s effort. At this point, I will rather advise we should start being objective in our prayers, let’s plead on God to compel the government to our aid.
Today makes it exactly a week after the unfortunate incidence, yet nothing visible is being done by the government, except for the effort the SUG and concerned indigenes of Akungba who constructed a barricade on the road. Recall that following the incidence, the Governor’s Chief of Staff, Chief Olugbenga Ale led the Government delegate to Akungba and made the usual promise on behalf of his boss who was said to be out of the state on important assignment. In a saner clime, where lives of the citizens are utmost importance to the government; by now, work would have commenced on Akungba road.
The extent that the leadership of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko Student Union (AAUASU) could be left to sort for public funds for hospitalized victims of Gas Explosion that occurred the same day with the accident shows how helpless we are. If Dangote and his company could be so heartless to how his servicing truck sent three members of a family to early grave at the same time and put their parents to unending sorrow. Yet Dangote didn’t show any reasonable remorse (if no compensation can bring them and others back), shows how the rich are living at the detriment of the poor masses.
At this junction, it is pertinent to call on the school management to find means of fast racking lasting solutions to that road or ways of keeping the students safe, probably by creating a different major route into the university if the government is irresponsive. This should be achieved to a reasonable extent before the reopening of the institution.
God would have answered our prayers if the government had addressed salient factors causing incessant accident in Akungba. Therefore, as a matter of urgency, government must facilitate necessary measures to avert future occurrence and stop being irresponsible. The school management must start looking into those areas. Our lives must stop being endangered!
This piece has been published on AAUA INSIDER with very minimal editing to preserve the original voice and views of the author.
By Adeyefa Tolulope “ELITE”
AAUA Insider is Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba’s new campus media publisher amplifying the stories of the students of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko.