Protests along the Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lagos, following an accident that led to the death of two school pupils, yesterday, caused a traffic gridlock on the highway as protesters blocked the entire expressway.
The accident occurred directly opposite the Ikota Primary School premises, a public school, as the children crossed the expressway.
The pupils, numbering five, who came from the Mega Chicken side of the road, had crossed the first part of the expressway and were on the pavement in the middle of the road when a tanker from the Ajah end, knocked off a Spots Utility Van, SUV, that stopped for the children to cross over, an eyewitness told Vanguard.
It was learnt that the tanker then hit the children on the pavement, killing two of them on the spot, while the other three sustained serious injuries and are currently receiving treatment at a nearby clinic. The tanker driver was nowhere to be found after the accident, as he reportedly took to his heels on noticing the havoc he had wreaked.
Following the incident, some aggrieved members of the Ikota Youth Association took to the streets to protest against what they termed government’s insensitivity to their plea to provide the area with a pedestrian bridge. Things however went awry when policemen drafted to the scene fired tear-gas and gun shots into the air.
A spokesperson of the association, Olugbenga Adesanmi, lamented the Lagos State government’s unresponsiveness to their plea, before declaring a seven-day ultimatum for the state to do something about the situation, otherwise expect a violent reaction from the youths.
“Some of the youths who witnessed the accident, based on the fact that we have been canvassing a pedestrian bridge at this spot, came out to protest the killing.
“Instead of the police who earlier arrived the scene to find an acceptable way of managing the situation, they fired sporadically at passers-by and protesters, causing more casualties.
“Four people were injured including a woman who had a baby on her back. It is speculated that the child on her back died as a result of gun shot.
“If we should count the number accidents that happen on this spot from January till date, it will be over 200. We are giving them seven days to do something about this situation, otherwise, they will have to kill all of us,” Adesanmi threatened.
Confirming the incident, Ajuwa Divisional Police Officer, Issah Lawal, who was present at the scene with his men said there was a fatal accident which involved three school children around 8 a.m.
“Three school children were involved in the accident, two of them died on the spot while the third child is receiving treatment at a nearby hospital.
“The allegation that men of the Police Force shot, killed and injured some protesters and passers-by is not to my knowledge. Like I said, my men have been here.
“We were contacted immediately the accident occurred and we responded swiftly. We got here in 10 minutes,” he said.