The management of the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, on Sunday ordered the closure of the institution until further notice.
The development was not unconnected to the protest that followed the fatal accident, which occurred opposite the campus of the institution on Saturday, in which no fewer than nine persons, including some students of the university, were killed.
The directive to close down the school was contained in a circular issued by the acting Registrar, Mr Opeoluwa Akinfemiwa.
The circular read, “Further to our circular of Saturday, January 23, 2021 and the attendant protest by students on Sunday, January 24, 2021, the acting Vice-Chancellor, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Prof. Olugbenga Ige, on behalf of the Senate, has directed that the university be closed with immediate effect until further notice.
“All students are therefore advised to vacate the campus latest by 6pm today, Sunday, January 24, 2021.”
It was gathered that three siblings were among the victims, who lost their lives in the crash.
According to the Ondo State Sector Command of the Federal Road Safety Corps and the state command of the Nigeria Police, no fewer than nine persons were killed, while several others were injured in the accident that involved a truck belonging to Dangote Cement.
It was gathered that the cement-laden truck was heading for Owo from Obajana in Kogi State, when its brake allegedly failed. As a result, the driver lost control of the vehicle and swerved off the road and rammed into some shops directly opposite the university.
In a Facebook post, a former spokesman for the Lagos State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, Mr Joe Igbokwe, said the mother of the three siblings killed in the crash also died of shock on Saturday after hearing the sad news about her children.
Igbokwe’s post was titled: ‘I am in deep pains and totally diminished as a mortal’.
He wrote, “An accident occurred yesterday (Saturday) in Akungba, Ondo State….these three guys were from same parents, a trailer crushed the three of them together in their shop and they all died instantly. Their mum died on the spot on hearing the news. Two of them are final year students of Ondo State University…….”
Similarly, a former Student Union President of the university, Samuel Adesomoju, popularly known as Sampraise, was also confirmed to be one of the victims of the crash.
The Global President of the National Association of Ondo State Students, Ayoade Kikiowo, confirmed this to journalists.
The body of Adesomoju, a 500-level law student, was discovered in the mortuary after the crash. One of his friends, Iyantan John, also confirmed this on his Facebook page.
He wrote, “The ugly event that happened yesterday in Akungba community will not concern the ‘Authorities’ that is why these incidents continue to happen often and often.
“The most painful thing is that I lost a brother who is so dear to me. Former SUG President and 500level law student, my acquaintance while in AAUA. May God console his family and the families of the late students. #RescueAkungba.”
Following the incident, students of the university took to the streets of the town to protest against incessant road crashes in the community, particularly along the university road.
The protesting students, who were singing solidarity songs, barricaded the roads that entered into the town and asked vehicles going into the town to turn back.
The angry students also sent back the state government delegation led by the Chief of Staff to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu. All efforts to appeal to them failed.
They demanded the personal appearance of the governor and not a delegation. The students stopped the delegation at Iwaro junction, in Akungba Akoko, stating that the government had neglected the community as no effort was made to curb incessant road accidents in the community.
However, they allowed the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Bolaji Salami, to enter the town with his security aides, while the government delegation returned to Akure.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Senate Leader, who is representing Ondo North Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Prof. Ajayi Boroffice, has described as unfortunate the avoidable crash that led to loss of lives and propertys in Akungba on Saturday.
The senator said in a statement by his media aide, Kayode Fakuyi, on Sunday, “It is time to stop the incessant carnage on the Akungba Road.
“It is deeply disturbing to hear about another accident on the Akungba Road. It becomes more confounding that the accident claimed many lives and property.
“Many accidents have occurred along that route in the past and worthy counsels and viable suggestions have been offered.
“The situation is not helpless and it is time to put an end to the incessant carnage on roads in Akoko land.”