Judex Okoro, Calabar
Tragedy has again struck in Cross River University of Technology (CRUTECH) as three undergraduates including one Ghanaian and two Nigerians have drowned while on a picnic.
A few months ago, about five students of the school were gunned down at various points following cult clashes that rocked the institution while a shop attendant slumped and died during a Saturday early morning walkout.
The latest incident brings to nine the numbers of students of the institutions who have lost their lives in various circumstances.
The three students were said to have been drowned on Saturday, January 18, 2020, in one of the popular community rivers located at Abakpa community in Ogoja Local Government Area of the state where they went for a picnic.
Two of the deceased were students of the Ogoja campus of CRUTECH; one was in the Department of Civil Engineering, Calabar campus.
About the time of filling this report, one of victims was identified as David Unamu, a 200-Level student of the Department of Civil Engineering, CRUTECH, Calabar campus, while the others were yet to be identified.
A witness, Justine Agba, said: “The news filtered into the town on Sunday morning that some students who went for a picnic to Abakpa River had 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 learnt 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 troope to the river to have some fun because of its cooling effect.
“They went to the river with other people to swim but nobody knows what exactly happened except that they were later found in the shallow part of the river. So, imagine how they ended up being drowned mysteriously, causing a big scar to their families.”
Sources close to the campus in Ogoja revealed that the Ghanaian lived with the mother in Lagos and just returned to school.
The Public Relations Officer of CRUTECH, Mr. Onen Onen, confirmed the story, but said he did not have the details and promised that the school authorities would soon make available all the details regarding the deceased students.