Hundreds of Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) students yesterday besieged a plastic factory on the Lagos – Ore Expressway, damaging products and 13 trucks.
The angry students vandalised the reception area, threatening a repeat assault next week, if the government did not bring to book the truck driver, who reportedly caused the accident in which 12 of their colleagues died last Friday.
The factory, said to belong to some Indians, owns the truck carrying a 20 – feet container, which fell atop a passenger bus conveying the students.
For the better part of yesterday, vehicular movement came to a halt on both sides of the dual carriage way. Travellers turned back. There was gridlock as motorists struggled to make a detour.
The students, wearing black T-shirts and jeans, arrived in four buses, including two luxury buses. They were in tears as they converged to pray on the accident scene.
For over an hour, they sang dirges for the victims and prayed for the repose of their souls.
A pastor, Tobi Adesanya, from the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) prayed for the Christians. Oresanya Adewale, a 300 Level Business Administration (Education) student, prayed for the Muslims.
The prayers soon morphed into yelling and cursing of the driver and his company.
Policemen, officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and operatives of the Ogun State Traffic Agency (TRACE) tried to calm down the students but they refused to be consoled.
For over three hours, the students seized both lanes of the expressway on the Ikenne – Ilisan stretch and later marched on the factory.
Armed policemen stationed at the gate laboured to prevent the students from advancing but following pressure from the students, the steel gate gave way.
The placard-carrying students surged into the factory in their hundreds and vandalised products and over a dozen trucks parked within the premises.
Some of the placards read: “We demand justice for the lost souls”; “OOU mourns, OOU weeps, OOU cries”; “A future lawyer is gone”; “Fresh graduate gone” ; “We’ve lost our scientists”; “OOUITES are not chickens. Stop giving us phobia”; “Police, FRSC, TRACE must be probed.
The Student Union President, Adegbesan Adenola, told reporters that the students were demanding N10million for each of the dead students.
Adenola said the money should be paid to the each of the victims’ families within seven days .
The students demanded that the policemen, FRSC and TRACE operatives, who were on duty last Friday, be prosecuted for negligence and dereliction of duty.
The angry students were, however, placated by some of the lecturers, including the OOU branch chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Dr Deji Agboola.
SOURCE- THE NATION