Grief as truck crushes two Muslim clerics, three pupils to death in Osun mosque


Tragedy struck in Ode-Omu, a sleepy town in Ayedaade Local Government Area of Osun State, on Friday, when a truck lost control and rammed into a mosque, crushing five Muslim faithful to death.
The victims of the accident included an Imam of the Adajo’s family house in the town, Alhaji Ismaila Babalola, another cleric identified as Alfa Ismaila and three primary school pupils.
Our corresondent gathered that the tragic incident occurred at about 1:45pm, when Muslim faithful, including the victims, were trooping into the Ode-Omu Central Mosque to observe their Friday Juma’at prayers.
The truck, whose driver fled the scene for fear of being attacked by residents of the town, was said to have crushed the victims from behind and dismembered their bodies.
When our correspondent visited the town on Saturday, the truck which had blood stains around its tyres, was still in front of the mosque.
It was gathered that the three pupils, who were sent to their early graves, were coming from school and were heading to the mosque to pray.
The school children said to be aged between 5 and 7, were crushed to the mosque wall as they came in, holding l their end of the third term report cards.
About three other residents of the town who were caught in the accident, escaped death with severe injuries and are currently receiving treatment at undisclosed hospitals in the town and Osogbo, the state capital.
Speaking with some residents of the town who claimed to have witnessed the accident, they said the truck driver slept off while on the wheel, before he lost control of the vehicle and verred off the road.
A commercial motorcycle rider, who identified himself as Akeem, told our correspondent that the truck which was coming from Osogbo had rammed into a pothole before veering off to the mosque, located beside the road and killing the five people.
Immediately after the accident, Akeem said other residents of the town, most of whom are Muslims, rushed to the scene, screaming “Allahu, Allahu”.
Other sympathisers also sobbed uncontrollably.
Our correspondent gathered that Governor Rauf Aregbebsola, whose convoy was driving through the town met a large crowd at the mosque and had to stop.
The governor was said to have expressed sadness at the development and also consoled relatives of the victims, who stormed the mosque on hearing the sad news.
Meanwhile, there was tension in the town on Saturday as angry youths almost clashed with a team of policemen for attempting to tow the truck to their station.
The youths expressed grief at the loss of their loved ones, threatening to mob anyone who attempted to remove the truck.
They argued that the truck should have been burnt, but because it happened in the mosque.
They, however, asked the police team, led by Assistant Supritendent of Police, Akinropo Oluboye, to produce the driver of the truck.
Attempt by the Imam of the Central Mosque, Ode-Omu, Adeyefa Adefajo, to calm the angry youths, proved abortive as they stood their ground and prevented the police from towing the vehicle from the Mosque.
Speaking with our correspondent, the Imam confirmed that five people died in the accident while three were seriously injured.
Adefajo said accidents have been rampant along the popular Ode-Omu road since it was tarred.
He, however, appealed to the state government to erect speed breakers on the road in order to prevent future occurrence.
When our correspondent visited one of the bereaved families in their home located at D.C. Street, Ode-Omu, they had yet to recover from the shock of losing their 5-year old son, Abdulrasak Olodo, whose life was cut short by the truck.
Abdulrasak’s mother could not be consoled by sympathisers, who sat and formed a circle round her.
Abdulrasak’s father, Teslim Olodo, said though a great tragedy had befallen him, he had taken it as the will of God.
According to him, Abdulrasak who just finished Nursery 2 class at Alhaq Nursery and Primary School, Ode-Omu, was a brilliant child who the family saw as a child with bright and promising future.
Olodo who battled with tears, said, “He (Abulrasak) is a son I loved so much. He is very brilliant. The report card he was holding when the accident happened showed he got third position in his class and he was so happy about it. I have lost the son I think would liberate my family.”
When asked what the government could do to avert possible future occurrence, Olodo supported the call for erection of bumps on the road, saying the rate at which accidents happened on the road had become alarming.
Also speaking, a member of the Olodo’s family, Abdulrazak Azeez, said Abdulrasak had been killed alongside his friend, Ahmed, a pupil of Baptist Primary school, who also came out with third position.
He said, “The two of them (Abdulrasak and Ahmed) were being held by their grandmother, Bilikisu Olodo, on their way to the mosque. The two of them had started running before the truck crushed them to death on the spot. Their grandma sustained injuries and she is currently receiving treatment in the hospital.”
Azeez also appealed to the state government to erect bumps on the road saying the victims ha been buried on Friday evening, according to Islamic rites.