No fewer than 20 people were crushed to death in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital by a truck conveying All Progressives Congress (APC) branded rice.
The lorry was conveying rice branded with ‘Senator Tayo Alasoadura for Senate 2019’.
Alasoaduara is the APC candidate for Ondo Central Senatorial District in Ondo State.
The accident happened on Saturday night at a market in Iworoko, Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government Area of Ekiti State, near the Ekiti State University.
The truck also rammed into some shops in the market, turning the community into mourning and paralysing social and economic activities.
An eyewitness said the truck suddenly lost control due to brake failure at about 8:45 pm on Saturday.
He added that the truck crushed three shops and a commercial small bus known locally as “Akoto” which had some passengers.
One of the shops, a barbing saloon, had residents and students charging their cell phones inside.
The 15 victims were students of the Ekiti State University, a corps member, residents and traders in the market as well as a mother and child.
The strike action by the Academic Union of Universities (ASUU) was said to have prevented more casualties as residents claimed the market used to be densely populated with many students during academic session.
The Iworoko youths barricaded the dual carriageway that passes through the community.
An angry mob chased away a towing truck of the State Traffic Management Agency, saying that it had come too late to rescue the victims.
Addressing the chiefs and residents of the community, the Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, expressed shock at the incident describing it as “highly unfortunate.”
“The state governor condoles with families of those who have lost their loved ones.
“We pray for their souls to rest in peace. Government will also ensure that those who were wounded have their hospital bills paid for. We will also take care of other things.
“However, we appeal to our youths to calm down and not cause trouble. No one wishes for this kind of tragedy to happen.
“And no amount of anger and violence will bring back those died in this unfortunate incident. So, let us be calm,” Egbeyemi said.
The corpses of were deposited at Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH) morgue while survivors were receiving treatment at the same hospital.
Egbeyemi, who also visited the hospital along Adebayo area of the state capital, told the doctors to commence treatment of the casualties, assuring the bills would be paid by the state government.
A worker in the hospital, who craved anonymity, added four casualties of the accident are receiving treatment at the
Accident and Emergency Unit of the hospital.
Senator that owns rice speaks
Meanwhile Senator Tayo Alasoadura, the owner of the branded rice inside the crashed truck has condoled with families of victims.
Alasoadura’s Media Aide, Dayo Joseph, conveyed the senator’s condolences.
The senator, who represents Ondo Central, said the bags of rice were purchased from a Rice Mill in Kebbi State and was actually meant for his constituents to enjoy Christmas/New year celebration, as part of his gifts in the spirit of the season.
He lamented that the delivery suffered delay.
“Our prayers are with the victims and I pray for the repose of the souls of the departed ones and the fortitude for their families to bear the irreparable loss while I also wish the injured quick recovery to return to their normal activities,” Alasoadura said.