The state of the Nigerian education system is one that is beyond shameful; however, more shameful is the state of the roads in the country, particularly the federal government roads.
DID YOU KNOW?
According to a report by the United Nations Global Road Safety Week in 2019, over 39,000 Nigerians die as a result of road accidents. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated that the rate per 100,000 stood at 21.4%. The risk of a road accident in Africa two years ago was pitched at 26.6% per 100,000 population. The report further stated that road traffic accidents continue to rise yearly. For a country like Nigeria that has over 40% of its population between the age bracket of 0-25, this is an alarming rate.
On Saturday the 24th of January, the most unfortunate of events happened at Akungba-Akoko, a small town in Ondo State. Right in front of the Adekunle Ajasin University gate, a trailer transporting merchandise from the Dangote group LTD. rammed into shops killing at least 9 students on the spot including 3 siblings of the same mother. The accident also left many injured. According to reports, the cause of the accident was a brake failure.
According to the student body of the university, this isn’t the first time that accidents would happen at the school gate. Over the years, students and indigenes have complained to the government about the state of the road as it is a place known for incessant road accidents. The road is a narrow sloppy road that can barely allow for two Dangote trucks at a time. And it is an interstate federal road.
To air their displeasure, the students of the Adekunle Ajasin University embarked on a protest. The school has since been shut down by the management until further notice. The students have accused the government and the management of the university of not taking their lives seriously.
In a circular released by the Student body, the Government and the Dangote group of companies have refused to come to the aid of four dying students who are victims of the accident; neglecting them at the Federal Medical Centre, Owo (FMC).
The government’s lackadaisical attitude to the state of the road at Akungba has caused a mother three of her children in one day. This is not acceptable! Compensations won’t cut. However, the government’s unresponsiveness to the injury cases in the hospital is beyond shameful as well.
What could be done?
Sadly, this tragedy has happened. Frankly speaking, nothing can be done to ease the pain off the families and friends of those who lost people; however, here is what the government should do to avoid future occurrences of such: Dualize the road. For a road that takes such traffic, has students always plying it as well as businesses on either side of the road, the government ought to dualize the road.
The management of the school could also have road bumps in front of the school gate to ease the flow of traffic. Road signposts indicating that a school is ahead should also be enacted by the school management. Also, signposts showing speed limits should be included.
Finally, the University has alternative gates they could use such as the gate at the sports complex and the university senate. This will ease the traffic flow of student at the main gate.