Palpable tension, tears, anger in Ekiti as trailer crushes 15 persons to death.
Government urges calm, Dangote denies ownership of the truck
Iworoko Community in Irepodun Ifelodun Council of Ekiti State was under tension at the weekend as a trailer whose driver reportedly dozed off at the wheel rammed into a night market killing 15 people and injuring five.
The trailer was conveying campaign rice branded for Senator Tayo Alasoadura (APC, Ondo Central).
It was learned that the truck suddenly lost control about 8.45 pm on Saturday night and rammed into the market, located at the center of the town, destroying three shops and a commercial bus with passengers.
During a visit to the scene of the accident yesterday morning, sympathizers were wailing, while others were cursing.
According to witnesses, among the 15 dead are students of Ekiti State University (EKSU), a serving corps member, some traders, a mother, and her child.
However, the Ekiti government has urged the youths of Iworoko, a neighboring community of Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, to remain calm and not take the law into their hands over the tragedy.
The angry youths had chased away a towing van of the state government because “it came too late.” But they could not do same to the governor’s advance security team.
Speaking with the chiefs and youths of the community, the deputy governor, Bisi Egbeyemi, who represented Governor Kayode Fayemi, said: “The state governor condoles with families of those who have lost their dear ones.
“We pray for their souls to rest in peace. The government will also ensure that the 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 the dead. So let us be calm,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dangote Industries Limited (DIL) has denied the ownership of the truck that caused the accident.
The management of DIL issued a statement yesterday, frowning at the report carried by an online medium alleging that a Dangote truck was responsible for the tragedy.
It wondered why some people rushed to the press without verification, thereby reporting falsehood.
“While we commiserate with the families of the deceased and pray for God’s strength to bear the loss of their loved ones, it is important to state that the affected truck does not belong to our company.
“Dangote Industries Limited does not import or produce rice for the market or for any individual or entity. Our trucks are also not meant to carry third-party goods, as we have consistently requested the public to report any such illegal action by our drivers to us for monetary reward.”
DIL recently made a passionate appeal to members of the public to assist in monitoring and reporting both recklessness and illegal haulage of contraband goods by its truck drivers with a cash reward of N250,000 per report.