Home Nigeria Military Aircraft Flies Home Corpses of Abuja Accident Corpers…survivor recounts true story

Military Aircraft Flies Home Corpses of Abuja Accident Corpers…survivor recounts true story

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Abuja Accident
Abuja Accident

By Uche Amunike

The remains of the five prospective National Youth Service Corps, NYSC members who died in a road accident last Wednesday have been taken back to Uyo, Akwa Ibom state.
The bodies were flown in a military aircraft from Abuja to Uyo where their families awaited them.
After the C-130 Nigerian Air Force plane landed at the Victor Attach International Airport, some Nigerians became very angry at what they termed an after-death heroic treatment.
Nigerians wondered why the young graduates who died in a road accident were flown home in a military aircraft. This made them go on social media to express their anger and vent over what they termed a hypocritical act by the military.
One of the survivors of the accident, Miss Christiana Essien revealed that the accident happened because the driver fell asleep while driving.
According to her, the occupants hired the bus just by the gate of the town campus of the University of Uyo and that they departed Uyo around 3:30pm on the fateful day. She said they were a total of 16 passengers. Nine were headed to Katsina, while the other two were going to Kano state except one person whose destination was Niger state. She explained that the driver intentionally dozed off during the trip and that he kept on sniffing dried tobacco probably to help him stay awake.
Hear her: ‘The speed he was using was too much, he was entering potholes on the road. I was complaining, ‘Sir, calm down, take it easy. We are not rushing anyway, we will get to Katsina. The man did not answer me. At some point, I was tired of complaining, and I slept off.’
‘A lot of people in the bus had slept off. The driver was sleeping, he fell asleep while driving,’ she said.
She said the bus eventually collided with a tanker.
‘When I heard ‘kpoom’, I woke up, the roof of the vehicle was no longer there, I told the girl that was beside me to jump out of the vehicle, (and) so she jumped out.’
‘When I came down, four people had died already,’ she said. ‘A woman had her head severed from the body’, she added.
‘One of the victims later died at the hospital. The bus driver was alive, but had a small cut on his head’, according to her.
She said that she earlier appealed to the driver to park the bus at a fuel station in Kogi state at about 1:20 a.m. so they could spend the night there and continue on the next day but he was adamant on continuing the journey even though it was apparent he needed the sleep.
Miss Essien did not have serious injuries. She said that she was admitted at the NYSC Camp Clinic in Katsina and treated for minor pain, only.
The NYSC Director General Shuaibu Ibrahim visited Uyo to commiserate with the state government and the bereaved families.
His words: ‘Yesterday was a black Wednesday in NYSC. We woke up with the sad news that five of our corps members lost their lives along the Abuja-Abaji-Kwali Expressway.’
‘I had to rush down to the hospital to really confirm if it was true, and at last, it was true’.
‘We are completely devastated and diminished because as parents we know what it takes to train a child to this level.’
He said the late corps members were ‘patriotic Nigerians’.
He went on to advise Corps members to avoid night travels.
Governor Udom Emmanuel sent his condolences to the families of the deceased while receiving the NYSC DG.
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