The Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun has called for calm over the accident that led to the death of unconfirmed number of students of Ojumo Community High School, Ihunbo in Ipokia Local Government Area of the State.
The students, according to reports, had just closed from school, when they were reportedly hit by a vehicle being driven by an official of the Nigeria Customs Service.
While the three students were reportedly killed, other students were also said to have sustained varying degrees of injuries, as the Customs officials chased suspected smugglers.
However, there is still disagreement as to the number of causalities from the Monday accident. While government and local sources claimed that three students died, the Nigeria Customs Service claimed that one student died, on account of the accident.
In a press release issued by the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Ogun state Command of the Nigeria Customs Service; Abdullahi Maiwada on behalf of the Customs Area Controller, it was claimed that the accident recorded one death, while three persons were injured.
The statement read in part: “On Monday, 07th October, 2019 at about 1330Hours, Officers of Nigeria Customs Service, Ogun Command on routine patrol arrested a vehicle (Mercedes Benz ML) suspected to have been smuggled into Nigeria.
“In the process of conveying the said vehicle driven by an Officer of the Service fully escorted by official patrol vehicle, an Okada man conveying a passenger crossed their path.
“In a swift response by the driver to avoid collusion with the said Okada rider, he lost control and rammed into some group of people coincidentally on a market day of Ihumbo Community.
“Unfortunately one of the victims a 20-year (sic) old student of Ojumo Community Secondary School by name Opeyemi Odusinan instantly died and three people sustained various degrees of injuries.”
“As at the time of filling this report, two of the injured have been discharged with only one Sunday Adeniyi (Adult male Nigerian) receiving treatment at General Hospital Idiroko”.
“It is on this premise that the Command wishes to register its deep heartfelt condolences to the family, school and friends of this young and promising child who lost his life in this unfortunate circumstances. We strongly commiserate with you in this trying moment and it is our prayer that God will give you the fortitude to bear this irreparable lost. The Command is also working assiduously to carter for the injured and to cushion the effect of this unintentional tragedy.
“It is however important to condemn some mischief makers who hijacked the situation and attacked Customs vehicles within sight in a community known for upholding peace and rule of law.”
Maiwada said normalcy has since been returned with the intervention of Police, Military personnel and other sister security agencies.
But, in a statement signed by Kunle Somorin, Governor Abiodun’s Chief Press Secretary, the governor said it was reprehensible that young children with promising futures lost their lives in such a manner.
The State Government, he said, would investigate the circumstances of the deaths with a view to preventing a recurrence and bringing indicted persons to book.
Governor Abiodun pleaded for calm and patience on the part of the people of Ihunbo and Ipokia LGA at large, in the heat of this incident.
The Governor also advised for moderate engagements with suspected smugglers on the part of the Nigeria Customs Service in civilian areas.