The Lagos State Government has shut down Bab Fafunwa Millennium School, Ojodu, formerly Ojodu Grammar School until January 2022.
Commissioner for Education, Folashade Adefisayo, announced the closure when she visited the school on Wednesday.
A trailer had on Tuesday crushed some pupils of the school. Some of the students died on the spot, while some others were injured.
Although, its reported that over 17 died but the Police have insisted only 2 died.
The Command’s Public Relations Officer, CSP Adekunle Ajisebutu, debunked the double figure casualty figure in a statement titled, ‘Fatal Motor/Pedestrians Accident At Ojodu Involving Students’.
The statement read in part, “As a result of the accident, two males died on the spot, seven females and five males totalling twelve victims sustained varying degrees of injuries.
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“Traffic personnel from the Motor Traffic Department of the Ojodu Police Division immediately visited the scene. Corpses of the dead students (identities not yet known) were evacuated with the support of officers of the FRSC (Federal Road Safety Corps) and were deposited at the Morgue of the Mainland Hospital, Yaba, for autopsy.
“The injured victims were taken to God’s Apple City Hospital, Ojodu Berger; St. Michael Hospital, Ojodu; and the Lagos State Emergency Hospital, Toll Gate.”
The police had earlier announced the arrest of the driver, identified as Bolaji Kabiru.
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Why We Shot in the Air and Released Tear Gas
Reacting to the protest that followed the accident during which some students burnt the truck and some other vehicles, Ajisebutu said, “They also attacked the Ojodu Police Station in their large number, demanding the release of the driver for jungle justice
“However, when their demand was not met, they became violent. In the process, they destroyed four vehicles parked in the premises of the police station and another mobile truck on the highway.
“To avoid total breakdown of law and order, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, immediately ordered the deployment of policemen comprising tactical teams, Rapid Response Squad and others to the scene to maintain law and order.
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“The protesters were professionally dispersed with minimum force without resulting to any further injury.”
The incident sparked outrage among the students and inhabitants of the area.
On Wednesday morning, students of the school protested the death of their colleagues. Also, some parents trooped to the school to protest the death of the students.
They lamented that school was not immediately shut down after the incident.
One of them said, “Why should the school reopen. The street is still smelling of the flesh of dead bodies. The exam should be postponed and students given automatic promotion is possible.”
While weeping, a mother lamented that “It is embarrassing that the school reopened today. How will the government do such? What do they want other mothers to be thinking of. My daughter is not in school and I have come to tell them that she must not fail. If they are heartless, I am not.”
Like FRSC, LASTMA bails
Meanwhile, the General Manager of Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, Bolaji Oreagba, has disowned the allegation that officials of the agency were involved in the unfortunate truck accident.
Oreagba said, “From the reports we received on the incidence, the driver is believed to have lost control of the vehicle, probably because of mechanical reasons. The police are investigating the matter; the public should await their report.
“LASTMA does not have a traffic management duty post around the accident scene. And all patrol personnel had reported back to base for the daily parade as at the time the accident occurred leaving only those at their traffic management posts,” Oreagba noted.
Head Office in Ojodu closed
Moreso, the head office of the Federal Road Safety Commission in Lagos was sealed Wednesday as rampaging youth attempted to gain access into the premises.
The FRSC office at Isheri Road, Ojodu, Berger, also houses offices of the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA) and Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO).
I’m devastated, filled with pains – Hon. Faleke
Meanwhile, member representing Ikeja Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, and Chairman of House Committee on Finance, Hon. James Abiodun Faleke, has expressed sadness over Ojodu trailer accident on Tuesday in Lagos.
Reacting to the accident in a statement he personally signed and made available to journalists on Wednesday in Abuja, the lawmaker lamented that the accident involving school children was most painful and devastating.
He said: “The news of the accident at Ojodu today, Tuesday, 7 December, 2021 came to me as a rude shock. I am not only devastated but also filled with pain in my heart.
“I learnt there are much casualties as well as fatalities. This is very painful and traumatic.
“As I pray for the families of the innocent deceased ones for God to give them the fortitude to bear the losses.”
The lawmaker appealed to Lagos youths not to take laws into their hands, noting that a proper investigation shall be carried out to ascertain the reason and necessary action will be taken by the appropriate authorities.
“I am already in touch with those security agencies in Ojodu and its environs for justice to prevail.
“Please let us be calm and steady, the needful shall be done as soon as possible.”
Also, President Muhammadu Buhari has commiserated with the parents, relatives, and friends of the students.
In a statement by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, the president depicted the occurrence as sad and painful.
The statement reads: “President Muhammadu Buhari commiserates with parents, relations and friends of Ojodu Grammar School students who lost their lives in an accident on Tuesday, along Isheri Road, Ojodu, in Lagos State.
“President Buhari condoles with Government and people of Lagos State and the authorities of Ojodu Grammar School over the sad and painful loss of the promising lives that were cut short in the tragic incident.
“President Buhari prays that the Almighty God will comfort the grieving parents and relations at this very difficult time, and grant the injured quick recovery.”