Three leaders of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) who traveled to Abuja to bestow a controversial “Governor of The Year” award on Governor Olusegun Rahman Mimiko of Ondo State died Friday in a ghastly accident. Several other student leaders reportedly sustained injuries, with one said to be in critical condition.
The NANS leaders, who were from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo, and the Ondo State School of Midwifery were killed in an automobile accident near Emure Ile along Owo Road. They were returning from Abuja after attending a ceremony organized by a faction of NANS to declare Mr. Mimiko “Governor of the Year.”
SaharaReporters learnt that the student leaders were traveling in a bus donated to them by Governor Mimiko.
Among the dead students were Dapo Awopegba of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, and Abiodun Akintola of Adeyemi College of Education. SaharaReporters was not able to ascertain the name of the dead student from the Ondo State School of Midwifery.
The students perished when their car got involved in an accident at Emure Ile junction in Ondo State. A spokesman for the Ondo State police command, Aremu Adeniran, attributed the accident to over-speeding. However, a student source told SaharaReporters that the deplorable condition of the highway was a factor in the accident. The source disclosed that the Emure-Ile junction had claimed numerous lives in the past.
Their corpses have been deposited in a morgue while those who sustained injuries are receiving treatment at the Federal Medical Center in Owo.
In recent years, NANS has become highly politicized, its officials often turning into ready and willing tools in the hands of politicians. In a sharp deviation from the past when the organization articulated the interests of the poor and downtrodden in Nigeria, many recent NANS’ leaders gleefully support corrupt governments and their often draconian policies.
Speaking from Ibadan, a former official of NANS decried the fact that many of the organization’s leaders have adopted the pastime of organizing dubious award jamborees for Nigerian government officials.
Students of the Federal University of Technology in Akure today shut down major highways in the state to protest the death of their colleagues. Governor Mimiko made a late-night visit to the campus to calm down the restive students