Rasheedat Oguntola, the mother of an eight-year-old pupil of Itowolo Community Primary School in Ikorodu, who was killed by a truck, has lamented that her son could have survived if there was a standby ambulance at Ikorodu General Hospital.
The family lives in Ajewole, Ikosi/Ketu Local Council Development Area (LDCA), while the deceased child schooled in Itowolo, Ikorodu West LCDA.
Oguntola told Newsbreak.ng that her late son, Abdulgafar, who was in Primary 2, wanted to cross the Ikorodu Road to board a Bus Rapid Transport vehicle last week, when he ran into a truck carrying yam.
According to her, Abdulgafar was rushed to Ikorodu General Hospital, where he was given adequate and prompt attention.
The mother, however, lamented that ambulance was not available when the hospital referred them to Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Ikeja, for further treatment.
“He was with his elder brother who is my first born. He was my second. The blue BRT buses usually stop to pick them for free in front of their school, and drop them at the closest terminus to their houses,” she stated.
“He saw his friends already entering the bus, so he unexpectedly freed his hand from his brother’s and just ran into the speeding truck that was transporting yam.
“People rushed him to Ikorodu General Hospital and he was given prompt attention. They later transferred us LUTH. That was around 6.00pm. But ambulance did not come until around 9.00pm. It was already late. May be he would have survived, then only legs would have been affected. The ambulance did not come in time, there was none on standby.
“A particular matron tried so much for us. She ensured that my son was still being given oxygen in the ambulance. He was already weak. He started gasping in the ambulance and died on the way to LUTH.”
Oguntola also lamented that they were charged N40,000 for a space in the morgue.
“They asked us to pay N40,000 at LUTH for a child in a government hospital. The matron was angry with them. She told them she preferred to take the body back to Ikorodu. That was how we brought him back to the morgue at Ikorodu General Hospital.
Asked about the truck driver, the late Abdulgafar’s mother told our reporter that he attempted to flee the scene of the accident, but police and passersby stopped him.
“The truck driver wanted to escape, but people around stopped him. And there is always a police check point close to the area. So the police seized his vehicle.
“The police tried. They made him pay for the burial and other things after my husband said he was not interested in a court case. The owner of the truck came to meet us at the police station.
“My son was buried in Ikorodu on a piece of land that was bought,” she also said.
Oguntola begged the state government to erect a pedestrian bridge across the highway for students of the school.
“If there was a pedestrian bridge, this would not have happened at all. The school is located along the highway and there is no bridge for student to cross to the other side of the road.
“They have to run across the road themselves. It is too dangerous. Government should construct a bridge there because of other children,” she appealed.
The woman, who was still grieving, did not allow us to take her photograph, and also said she does not have a picture of the child.