Eighteen persons, comprising 16 passengers and two drivers, have lost their lives in a ghastly road accident that occurred at Kilometre Two, Cattle Market, Iseyin, in Oke-Ogun area of Oyo State.
The accident was said to have occurred on Saturday evening as a result of head-on-collision between two fully loaded Mazda buses on the newly reconstructed Ibadan- Iseyin Road, which is about 76 kilometres. Available information revealed that each of the buses carried 18 passengers, making a total of 36 passengers and two drivers, that jerked up the occupants of the buses to 38.
A resident of Iseyin, Hassan Abbey, told Daily Sun: “When we heard of the accident, my people a di rushes to the scene. On getting there, we tried to help. In the process, we counted 16 dead bodies of passengers and two lifeless bodies of the two drivers of the two buses. So, we rushed others, who were injured to the hospitals. Those that survived the accident are 20 and they were fatally injured. Some have had their limbs totally severed from their bodies. “
The 18 passengers and the two drivers reportedly died on the spot. The dead bodies, as gathered, were taken to FADOK Hospital, near Iseyin Divisional Police Headquarters, Okutapemo, Iseyin.
Meanwhile, eight among nine members of an orthodox church in Ibadan, were said to have been among the 18 dead passengers after attending a function in Saki. A pastor of the church and eight of the church members were in one of the two buses involved in the accident. Sources said they were on their way from Saki to Ibadan, before the accident occurred in Iseyin. But the bodies of the eight church members were deposited at Our Lady Hospital in Iseyin. Wife of the pastor that led the team was said to have survived, but with broken limbs.
Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Oyo State, Winifred Chukwura, who confirmed that the accident occurred, said she could not confirm the number of casualties, saying further investigation would reveal the number of people that either lost their lives, or sustained varying degrees of injury.
Meanwhile, Aseyin of Iseyin, Oba Abdganiy Salawudeen Adekunle Oloogunebi Ajinese 1; National President, Iseyin Development Union (I.D.U), Alhaji Bayo Raji; and a member of Oyo State House of Assembly, Dele Adeola, representing Iseyin/Itesiwaju state constituency, have called on Oyo State Government to urgently put in place, speed breakers at locations like ‘Serafu’, Kilometer 2 Cattle Market and the Iseyin Muslim Burial Ground Junction, along Iseyin-Moniya road to dissuade motorists from over-speeding.
Aseyin of Iseyin enjoined motorists to value human lives and exercise patience during the months that end the year. Adeola also advocated erection of necessary road signals and speed breakers to guide users of the newly reconstructed road and prevent unnecessary accidents.
National President of I.D.U, Alhaji Bayo Raji, said: “We pray for the souls of the dead in this ghastly accident and many more incidents that have claimed lives, limbs and properties because of over-speeding by drivers along our roads and their families that the Lord Almighty give them the strength to bear the loss.
“We also beseech our governor, who has always listened and acted in accordance with the yearnings of the people to please call the contractor to put speed breakers at critical points along this road, like the ‘Serafu’ Market, the Kilometre 2 Cattle Market, some villages where activities are rife as well as the junction at the Iseyin Muslim Burial Ground.
“We believe that as the speed breakers have worked in reducing speed of motorists at the Ibadan end of this road, the same sanity will prevail at the Iseyin end as well and we shall not witness such waste of lives anymore.”
Raji also called on the leadership of the Park Management System in the state to caution commercial drivers, especially during the ‘ember’ months, on their speed control.