Protest rocks UNILAG over first-class student’selectrocution


Academic activities at the University of Lagos, Akoka, Yaba, were paralysed on Wednesday as students of the institution protested against the death of a female
undergraduate who was electrocuted on Tuesday.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the student, Oluchi Anekwe, a 300-Level first-class student of the Department of Accounting, was returning from
an evening mass with her younger sister at about 7pm on Tuesday when a high-tension wire fell on her. It was gathered that Anekwe had entered the New Halls through the Eni Njoku Hostel side to buy an item. She was
said to be walking out of the hostel when the wire fell on her.
Anekwe was reportedly rushed to the medical centre, where she was said to have died a few minutes later. It was gathered that angry students, who heard of the lady’s death on Wednesday took to the university’s gates around 8am, shut the gates in the school, calling on the
Vice-Chancellor to address them. When our correspondent got to the campus, vehicular movements in and out of the institution were obstructed, while policemen from Sabo and Bariga divisions tried in vain to calm down the protesting students.
While some of the students squeezed themselves into commercial buses, wielding brooms and clubs, and driving
around the campus, others thronged the gates and chanted songs of protest against the authorities for what they
described as ‘the negligence in upgrading the institution’s facilities’.
One of the students, identified only as Damilola, told PUNCH Metro that it was one of the three high-tension wires that fell on Anekwe. She said, “The girl was returning from the evening mass. But some people said it was from the library. It was at about 7pm. She was with her younger sister. Suddenly, there was a spark from one of the wires. The wire cut and fell on Oluchi (Anekwe).
“She got electrocuted immediately. Her sister raised the alarm and students rushed her to the medical centre. Some minutes later, she was pronounced dead.”
Another student, Johnson, said she died before the medical personnel could attend to her.
“While the medical personnel were requesting her Identity Card, she died. Her younger sister stood there helpless,”
Johnson added. The Students’ Union President, Abiodun Martins, said it was time for the authorities to take concrete actions on the state of facilities to prevent avoidable deaths on the campus.
He said, “Oluchi, till her death, was a first-class student. While we condole with her family and friends, we say the event that led to her death is avoidable. We therefore call on concerned authorities to prevent a recurrence.
“We declare that academic activities are hereby suspended for today in honour of the departed soul.” The VC, Prof. Rahamon Bello, later drove in with the university security officials to address the students in front of the student union building.
The VC, while appealing to the students not to aggravate the situation, promised that enquiries would be made into the matter by the university authorities, the police, and the electricity distribution company.
He said, “To the entire students of our institution, what happened was an accident. The wire that fell does not
belong to the university. It serves the Onike area. We have communicated the electricity distribution company on the
need to have their cables underground. All UNILAG cables are under the ground.
“But there will be full enquiries into this, as the police and the state government will be involved.
“Let us not aggravate the issue as we do not want to lose any other life. Today has been declared as a day of mourning, and no lecture will be holding.”
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Joe Offor, said the police had put the situation under control. It was gathered that the management of the university visited the Anekwes on Wednesday evening at their Okota,
Lagos home. The delegation, which was led by the Dean of Students’ Affairs, Prof. Tunde Babawale, was said to have conveyed the institution’s condolence to the family, promising that inquiries would be made on the cause of the death.
The father confirmed the visit of the UNILAG delegate on the telephone, adding that the family was still trying to come to terms with the tragedy. Meanwhile, friends and relatives of the deceased have
flooded her Facebook account, Oluchi Anekwe, to react to her death. One of them, Ojidoh Lucious, said, “Nigeria is a nation where nothing is done to standard. A university does not have running water and a steady supply of electricity. The
management just killed an innocent lady due to its poor standard. Oluchi, you will be missed.
Culled from Punch
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About Ukandu Jerry Paul

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

May her soul rest in peace