Students protest  as truck crushes 500 level undergraduate in Abia

Students protest  as truck crushes 500 level undergraduate in Abia
. VC apoeals to FERMA for palliative work
 By Steve Oko
Students of Michael Okpara University Umudike, Monday morning embarked on peaceful protest following the death of a female undergraduate of the university in auto crash.
The victim, Miss Chidinma Ogbonna, a 500-level student of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management, was crushed to death Sunday evening by a truck along Umuahia Ikot Ekpene federal highway leading to the university.
The deplorable condition of the colonial road which has almost become impassable particularly between Umuahia city and Umudike is blamed for the crash.
According to eye witness, the vehicle conveying the victim who was returning to school from Umuahia collided with another vehicle before the truck loaded with rods from Timber Market crushed her on the spot.
The incident occurred barely two months after another truck carrying cement crushed a final year student of the university in front of the school gate also as a result of bad road.
Irked by the rising cases of road accidents on the highway that has almost collapsed, students of the university embarked on protests after blocking the highway for hours.
They irate students who carried placards and chanted war songs marched from the university to the Government House Umuahia to register their grievances.
Some of the inscriptions on the placards read:
 “#Justice for Queen”; “Umuahia/Ikot Ekpene Road Na Death Trap; “Rubber Stamp National Assembly, Fix Our Roads”.
The students demanded immediate rehabilitation of the road by the federal government, saying that it has claimed a lot of lives.
Addressing newsmen, the President,  Students Union Government , Comrade Chukwuma Ogochukwu, said that the road had become a death trap.
Comrade Ogochukwu, tasked the federal government to quickly fix the road, saying that  they “did not come to MOUAU as students to be killed by vehicles”.
He warned that the road would claim more lives if nothing is done urgently to fix the road.
Meanwhile, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe, has expressed sadness over the tragic incident.
The VC in a release by the Public Relations Officer, Adanma Odefa, condoled with the family of victim, and appealed to the students to remain calm while efforts are intensified towards engaging the relevant authorities for intervention.
Professor Iwe who acknowledged that the road had become a death trap to both students and staff of the university, said he had already engaged the Federal Road Management Agency FERMA for palliative work on the road.
” VC through his SA on Projects, Engr. Richard Onyeaso, invited the local FERMA on an inspection of the bad spots, took pictorial evidence and prepared a strong appeal letter to FERMA.
” The VC personally took these documents to FERMA headquarters in Abuja to make further physical appeals. His efforts were rewarded with an official approval for palliative work to begin on the road.”
Professor Iwe, however, appealed to drivers plying the route to drive more responsibily to avoid crashes.
Meanwhile, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, has directed an Indigenous Construction Company to “move in on Wednesday October 6 2021 and fix all the failed portions of the road.”
 Ikpeazu who spoke through the Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi  Kalu, expressed concern over the tragedy.
He said the state government was willing to embark on repair of the federal road as the those who suffer the effects of its deplorable condition are mainly Abians.
The federal government in 2018 awarded a N13.4 billion contract for the total rehabilitation of the highway at the but there are no signs  that the project is to be delivered any time soon.
Steve Oko, Publisher/C.E.O, WaWa News Global. For more information on advert placement and news coverage, contact us on: 08038725600, or via email [email protected]; [email protected] Always read WaWa News Global - Your most dependable online news platform for the latest breaking news in Nigeria.

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