Awka / Uyo – A middle-aged man driving an SUV rammed into school children at Oba in Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State on Monday, killing four of them and injuring ten others. The driver has been arrested.
The Oba Divisional Police Officer, Ifeanyi Abanaofor, while confirming the arrest of the driver, said the injured were about 10 and they were taken to various hospitals for medical attention.
“The driver of the ill-fated vehicle, Mr. Chibuzor Elebo, has been arrested,” the DPO stated.
A source attributed the crash to the recklessness of the driver who was said to have been driving a Pathfinder Jeep and answering telephone call when the incident occurred.
“He lost control and veered off his lane into the other lane before ramming into the kids, killing three instantly, while the fourth one died at the hospital,” the source stated.
Another source, who claimed to be an eyewitness, told Daily Independent that the children were just dismissed from school for the day when the incident happened.
He said: “The school children came out in their large numbers, having been dismissed at about 2p.m on the fateful day.
“As they were trekking along the Oba/Nnewi old road, a vehicle, Infinity Jeep, with registration No. MYB 22 AAA, that was speeding while coming from Onitsha direction had a brake failure and rammed into the pupils, killing four on the spot while about 10 of them sustained injuries.
“The corpses of the deceased were deposited at Gateway Hospital morgue, Oba.”
Also, the President-General of Aboji Akanano Union, Oba, Dozie Nweke, described the accident as “unfortunate and a great loss to Oba people and the families of the pupils; the parents should take heart because it has happened”.
Daily Independent gathered that two of the deceased pupils were from the same family.
Three Brothers, Four Others Killed In A/Ibom, C/River Communal Clash
Meanwhile, no fewer than seven lives have been claimed by a resurgence of the age-long inter-communal crisis between two neigbouring communities of Oku Iboku in Itu Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State and Ikot Offiong in Odukpani Local Government Area of Cross River State.
The unfortunate incident, which occurred Tuesday night, trapped some fishermen while they were engaged in their business.
A local fish merchant, Chief Effiong Eneh, who spoke with Daily Independent explained that the age-long dispute arose from dispute over the ownership of some fishing communities along the Calabar-Itu River.
“All the fishermen killed are from Oku Iboku, including three brothers from the same parents.
“Three dead bodies have been recovered so far, while some youths are still waiting for the remains of the other four to float to the sea shore.
“This fight has defied all known traditional and political solutions even before the creation of Akwa Ibom State out of the old Cross River in 1987.”
Lamenting the incident, Bassey Offiong Willams, a native of the neighbouring Ayadehe community, told Daily Independent that “because of the crisis which has claimed several lives, people were warned not to go deep into the sea for fishing”.
He blamed soldiers standing guard around the troubled river for the problem, alleging that “the soldiers always allowed the militants from Ikot Offiong to penetrate into our territory with their flying boats but would not allow Oku Iboku fishermen to do same”.
Ekikere Umoh, Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the Akwa Ibom State Deputy Governor, Obong Moses Ekpo, whose office oversees boundary issues, said he was yet to be fully briefed on the incident.
Confirming the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Odiko Macdon, said: “We have already commenced preliminary investigation into the incident.”
He suggested what he called “pro-active measures by politicians and security agencies to bring a lasting peace” to the area, and added, “I think politicians should come up with a political solution to the problem.”