Judex Okoro, Calabar
Tragedy struck again at Cross River University of Technology (CRUTECH) as three undergraduates including one Ghanaian and two indigenes of the state were drowned while on a picnic.
A few months ago, about five students were gunned down at various points following cult clashes that ravaged the institution, while a shop owner slumped and died during one of his Saturday morning workout. The latest incident brings to nine the number of students that have lost their lives in various circumstances.
The three students were drowned on Saturday, January 18, in one of the popular community rivers located in Abakpa community, Ogoja Local Government Area of Cross River State, where they went for a picnic.
Two of the deceased were students at Ogoja campus of CRUTECH while one was in the Department of Civil Engineering and from Calabar campus. As at the time of filling this report, one of them has been identified as David Unamu, a 200 Level student of CRUTECH ,Calabar campus.
A witness, Justine Agba, said: “The news filtered into the town on Sunday morning that some students who went for a picnic in Abakpa river were drowned. Initially, we thought it was a joke, but after we had sent people to go and verify, it was confirmed that three of them died.
“We learn that the students went there to cool off in the river because of the hot weather. Besides, it has been a tradition of sort that during this season villagers normally troop to the river to have some fun because of its’ cooling nature.
“They went to the river with other people to swim and nobody knows what happened in the process except that they were later found in the shallow part of the river.”
A resident who lives close to the campus in Ogoja revealed one of the victims ,a Ghanaian,was living with his mother in Lagos and just returned to resume school.
Public Relations officer (PPRO) of CRUTECH, Mr. Onen Onen, said he did not have the full deºtails of the story.