Peter Dada, Akure
The Federal University of Technology Akure, Ondo State, was thrown into mourning on Thursday following the death of a student of the institution.
The deceased student, who was identified as Deborah Olajide, was said to be a second year first class student of the Department of Food Science and Technology.
She was reportedly run over and killed by a vehicle on Wednesday night on the Akure-Ilesa Expressway, few metres away from the main gate of the university.
The driver of the vehicle was said to have escaped from the scene of the accident.
Following the incident, the students organised a procession in front of the school gate, which blocked the Akure-Ilesa Expressway for several hours on Thursday evening.
The development led to a traffic jam as travellers, especially those travelling to the northern part of the country, were stranded on the road.
It was learnt that the students didn’t return to the campus until around 11pm.
Confirming the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr. Femi Joseph, said the real cause of the student’s death was still unknown to the police.
He said, “The lifeless body of the deceased was found by the road on Thursday morning which gave impression that she might have been knocked down by a hit-and-run driver but we are not certain about the real cause yet. Since then, we have been appealing to the students to be patient with us to do our investigation on the matter.”
The Head of the Protocol and Public Relations Unit of the institution, Mr. Adegbenro Adebanjo, who also confirmed the incident, described it as sad and unfortunate.
He said the students did not protest to block the expressway but only observed a procession in honour of their departed colleague.
He said, “The victim died as a result of injuries sustained when she was knocked down on the expressway by a vehicle. But the students did not protest, they only held a procession to mourn their departed colleague. And the procession was closely monitored by officials from the Students Affairs Division to ensure that public peace was not breached in any way.
“At some point, the students converged on the very spot where the accident occurred to light their candles and this was responsible for the slight disruption in traffic flow on the expressway.”