Gyang Bere, Jos
Sadness pervades the atmosphere at the NTA College, Jos, Plateau State. The school has been thrown into confusion and mourning following a fatal accident involving four of its students a few hours after they completed their final examinations at the college.
The accident claimed a 20-year-old female student, Happiness Nanlong Lar. One of the victims had a leg amputated, while the remaining two are in critical condition.
The incident occurred one week after a final-year student of the institution, Donald Weng, committed suicide a week to his graduation.
Happiness Lar, Ayobami Omotosho, Hafeez Bolarinwa Abayomi and Adebayo Saheed Adoyomi had just completed their final examination on Friday, September 20, 2019, and were in celebration mood.
Along with other students, they sang songs, danced on the major streets of the institution, poured water on each other, tore their clothes and rolled inside the drainage to express their excitement that they were graduating from the school.
As it was the practice, the students wanted to organise a night party and do a bonfire, but considering the outcome of earlier parties, the school management banned such a party.
The students then held a small party shortly after their final paper, after which they all dispersed.
Unfortunately, Happiness Lar, Ayobami Omotsho, Hafeez Bolarinwa Abayomi and Adebayo Saheed Adoyomi, who were living on campus, decided to go out in the night.
The students claimed that they had gone to eat at a canteen somewhere in Jos town around 7pm on the fateful day. The four were sitting down on a culvert close to the Plateau Radio Television Corporation (PRTVC) Roundabout when a vehicle rammed into them.
All the students were unconscious as they sustained multiple injuries. They were rushed to different hospitals within Jos by Good Samaritans.
Happiness sustained multiple injuries and broke her neck, ribs and two legs. She was rushed to Bingham University Teaching Hospital, Jos, where the doctors battled to stabilise her. But she died in the process.
Hafeez Bolarinwa Abayomi and Adebayo Saheed Adoyomi, who also sustained multiple fractures, were referred to private hospitals in Lagos, where their parents reside. But 34-year-old Ayobami Omotosho, a graduate of Television Production, was lucky. He survived the accident but sustained multiple fractures in his leg and hand.
He was also said to have sustained internal injuries, and the doctors battled to bring him back to life after he had been unconscious for hours. Ayobami’s leg was damaged by the vehicle beyond repair. He was rushed to Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), where the doctors amputated the left leg to save his life after profuse bleeding.
Ayobami, who hails from Kwara State but was born and brought up in Ondo State, is regretting his decision to go out that fateful night.
He said: “There is a woman that usually sells food and kunu around the PRTVC Roundabout. We went there to eat. I don’t know what happened thereafter until I saw myself in pain in the hospital.
“I was told that a vehicle hit the four of us. We were sitting down talking and were about to go to the canteen when the incident happened. I don’t know where the other students are but I was told that one of us died. I am seriously in pain. One of my legs has been removed, If I get up from here, I will have to learn how to start walking again. This is very bad. I am finished.”
Ayobami said he was unconscious for hours and woke up to find himself experiencing immense pain in the hospital.
The students were hit by a car occupied by some boys who were reported to be under the influence of alcohol. The boys were coming from a drinking joint and a carton of beer was found in the vehicle.
They were subsequently arrested by operatives of the Plateau State Police Command. They are currently being interrogated.
Dr. Barnabas Gbam, the rector of NTA Television College, has expressed sadness over the incident. He visited the scene of the incident as soon as the attention of the authorities of the institution was drawn to the issue. Gbam followed the students to various hospitals that fateful night to ensure that each of them was stabilised, before leaving the hospital. He was full of lamentation when it was reported that Happiness had died.
The remains of Happiness have since been laid to rest. She was buried on October 3 in her village, Garkawa in Mikang Local Government Area of Plateau State.