Tragedy hits OAU as two undergraduates die in school’s teaching hospital

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The Obafemi Awolowo University community in Ile-Ife, Osun State has, again, been thrown into mourning as the institution lost two of its brilliant students to the cold hands of death within a week.

While Oluwaseun Olorunfemi, a 400-level student of the university was killed by a hit-
and-run driver on the school campus on December 20, 2016, another female student, simply identified as Taiwo, lost her life after a brief illness.

Olorunfemi, was a medical student at the university’s College of Health Sciences, while Taiwo was of the Faculty of Education. 

It was gathered that Olorunfemi was hit by a driver around Fajuyi Hall junction on the campus and was immediately rushed to the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex in Ile-Ife by some students.

Our correspondent gathered that the victim had suffered severe injuries that left him in coma for about 6 days before he died on December 25, 2016.

The university community was consequently thrown into mourning as his colleagues and family members besieged the hospital in tears.

While Olorunfemi was still being mourned, news filtered in that another student, Taiwo, had died in the female ward of the university after a brief illness.

A first class student of the university, Bibilari Elebuibon and son of a popular Ifa priest in Osogbo, Yemi Elebuibon, was announced dead when he was called upon to receive his award during the 42nd
convocation ceremony of the institution recently.

Another fresh student of the university, Sunkanmi, of the Department of International Relations, died in mysterious circumstances recently after he bled to death in his campus hostel.

Commenting on the recent deaths on the campus, an undergraduate of the university, Omole Ibukun, expressed shock, saying something urgent should be done to forestall a recurrence of the “avoidable deaths.”

Omole, in his condolence message on the school’s Facebook page, blamed the management of the institution for the death of Olorunfemi, while describing the deceased undergraduate as brilliant and hardworking.

He said, “While I respect the culture of not raising a political issue about a death so close to home, a superior moral responsibility of ensuring this kind of avoidable death does not recur, compels me to write this.

“First of all, May the soul of all OAU students who died recently rest in perfect peace. A special case of concern to me is the avoidable hit-and-run death of Oluwafemi, a 400 level medical student. Avoidable, if the concerned authorities were responsible enough to have done their jobs when the issue was brought to their attention, rather than to just give empty promises.

“This is in the light of new promises of speed bumps and speed breakers by the university
management, alongside their excuses of poor manpower. Putting effective means in place to avoid a future occurrence will go a long way to ensure justice in this, even far more than any court case can.

“The same case occurred early last semester around Fajuyi junction of the same road in which the victim was severely injured. On that day, students came all out to act as a speed caution throughout that night, yet we still had some drunkdrivers speeding that night. What we did was to stop oncoming vehicles coming from New Buka and then make the driver stop so that we could check their breath, and where
we suspect drunkenness, we asked the driver to step aside so that a sober occupant of the vehicle drove.

“The authority to continue this was challenged and we turned to the authorities to do something. But the comrade who went to make the report to the dean of DSA was not only embarrassed, nothing was done. The Nigerian mediocre mentality of waiting till a danger takes a life before it is addressed should not be allowed in such a prestigious academic environment.

“Meanwhile, the school’s management should not wait for other life-threatening welfare conditions, like congestion in hostels and lecture halls, poor health facilities and personnel, poor sanitary conditions etc to take lives before they are addressed. Aside all other recommendations, security
operatives need to be stationed at the exit of New Buka to check the crime of drunk-driving, alongside other crimes, to ensure this is not repeated. God bless the dead.”

Paying tribute to the late medical student, Aduragbemi, a classmate of the deceased, described him as an outstanding student, who also was the choir master of the Deeper Life Campus Fellowship of the school.

But the management of OAU has described Olorunfemi’s death as painful.

The Public Relations Officer of the university, Mr. Abiodun Olanrewaju, said that his death was untimely, stressing, “The OAU management sympathised with the family and relations of the deceased as well as the College of Health Sciences.”

Meanwhile, the police has arrested and detained the fleeing driver who hit Olorunfemi.

Confirming the arrest to our correspondent, the Police Public Relations Officer, Folasade Odoro, said that the suspect had been detained.

She said, “I can confirm to you that the driver has been apprehended and detained. Necessary investigation would be carried out and appropriate steps would be taken.”