BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO
A family of four have been reportedly killed after they were crushed by a car that was trying to avoid hitting a drove of cows grazing on an express road in Osun State.
The terrible incident, which happened along the Osogbo-Iragbiji road in the state, caused pandemonium in the area as some residents attempted to lynch the herdsman.
The deceased family, comprising of a pregnant woman, her husband and their two children, were said to have been journeying along the road when they suddenly saw a herd of cattle being pastured on their way.
Sensing danger, they were said to have pulled over while waiting for the cows to graze to a distant location where it would be easy for them to navigate their motorcycle on the narrow road and then continue with their journey.
But a driver of a Camry car was said to have suddenly drove into the cows and in an attempt to avoid hitting the cows, he lost control and rammed into the family were they were patiently waiting and crushed them to death.
Residents of the area accused the Fulani herdsman of being responsible for the death of the victims. But for timely intervention of security agents at the scene, the herder would have been mobbed to death.
Confirming the incident, the Public Relations Officer of the state police command, Yemisi Opalola, said the family died as a result of injuries sustained in the accident.
Opalola explained that the accident occured after a private vehicle tried to avoid hitting cattle, which had veered into the road in the particular village.
She said, “On 2nd May, 2023, at about 8:55pm, there was a fatal motor/motorcycle/cow accident around Idi Ogungun, near Onioba village Iragbiji,involving a Camry car with Registration number ABJ 288 KR, driven by one Babatunde Afeez of Number 12, Oloti Area, Iragbiji, Osun State. The vehicle ran and knocked down a red Bajaj motorcycle with registration number SGB 544 QG, ridden by one Oladapo Saheed together with his wife and two children, while trying to avoid a herd of cows under the custody of one Buba Umar that strayed on the path of the vehicle.
“The unfortunate accident occurred when the said motorcyclist with his family were heading towards Iragbiji road from Osogbo whereas the driver of the car was heading towards Osogbo.
“The two were on top speed. At a point, along Onioba village, the driver of the car ran into the herd of cattle and in an attempt to maneuver, ran into the motorcycle, which led to the death of the cyclist’s son on the spot, while the cyclist, his pregnant wife and daughter were rushed to the hospital for treatment. Unfortunately, the husband and wife with their unborn child were later confirmed dead, while their daughter is recuperating at the hospital.”
Opalola revealed that the driver of the said vehicle, as well as the herder, had been arrested and they would be arraigned in court as soon as investigation is completed.
Meanwhile, indiscriminate movement of cattle across the country has been a subject of concern amid rising cases of clashes between herdsmen and farmers.
In several parts of Abuja and other cities alike, cattle are freely led across main roads, stalling human and vehicular traffic and sometimes causing accidents.
Residents have regularly called on the government to check the menace. There was a time the Nigerian Senate ordered the slaughtering of cows found roaming in the city centre, adding that owners of the cows should be fined N50,000 per cow.
Efforts by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to bring back and implement cattle grazing routes across the country as a means of resolving farmers/herdsmen clashes have been greeted with stiff opposition by many state governments and other stakeholders.