By Maria Famakinwa
They lived in different houses but are passing through the same experiences. Mrs Olanifemi Ikudaisi and Mrs Oluwakemi Ogunseye are widows whose husbands were killed in a motor accident along Airport road, Oba-Ile on April 15,2021.
The victims, a 45-year-old Ayodeji Ikudaisi and 42-year-old Ifeoluwapo Ogunseye both Okada riders met their untimely death when a reckless truck driver skidded to the opposite direction due to over speeding killing Ikudaisi, the female passenger he carried and two passengers of Ogunseye on the spot while Ogunseye died the second day at the hospital. The younger brother of the truck driver who sat beside him at the front seat during the accident who had been receiving treatment in an undisclosed hospital was also said to have died days ago even as doctors are battling to safe the life of the truck driver.
Investigation conducted by The Hope revealed that the truck driver and a Toyota Camry car were in a race competition when the truck driver lost control which resulted into the death of the victims living their families in great sorrow. Ikudaisi, popularly known as ‘Coach,’ a graduate of Ondo State Polytechnic, Owo who ventured into okada business to argument his income was to roof his house at Usi in Akure North Local Government two days to his tragic death. The two widows of the okada men visited by The Hope lamented that if they knew their husbands would not returned on that faithful day, they would have detained them at home throughout the day for the death to pass them over.
Mrs Olanifemi Ikudaisi, whose 11 years old marriage to his late husband produced three children ages between 5-9years amidst sobbing was able to mumble a few words. “On that unfortunate day, myself, my husband and his younger brother sat outside discussing before my husband received a call and left with his okada immediately. Not quite three minutes after, that his brother who was still beside me received a call and started running towards the scene of the accident. I asked him what happened but he didn’t answer, then I started running after him. When I got there, I was told that my husband had been taken to the hospital. That was all I knew because I was told that I fainted trice. The most painful aspect of it was that the day my husband was to roof his house at Usi turned out to be his burial day at his uncompleted building. (sobbing).
“My children are still very young. My late husband’s wish was to give his children the best he could afford. I never knew that he would leave me so soon.
” How do I cater for these children? Where will I get money to complete the house my late husband could not complete? Even though things are hard, my late husband denied himself so many things just to make sure that he complete his house and we move in. It is quite painful that instead of living in the house, he was buried there. An easy going man who never drink nor smoke. I lost my best friend.”(sobbing).
Mrs Ikudaisi who appealled to the State government and well meaning citizens for financial assistance to care for her three children said that her petty trade was not enough to provide for their needs. “I want government and well meaning citizens across the state to assist me so that I can provide for my children which was one of my late husband’s unfulfilled dreams.”
The story was not different from the second widow, Mrs Oluwakemi Ogunseye, who said in a teary voice that April 15, 2021 would forever be remembered as a day she lost her faithful companion. The young widow who revealed that nothing suggested tragedy was lurking said,” my husband came home to drop his phone that I should charge it when electricity was restored. Not up to 30 minutes that he left when a friend called me that my husband had been taken to the police clinic. Another person told me that he had been taken to Federal Medical Center (FMC) Owo and later to State Specialist Hospital in Akure.
“I rushed to the hospital and saw my husband lying down with blood all over his body. He spoke with me but was complaining of serious stomach pain. He said, “Thank Jehovah for the gift of life but this agony was too much. Jehovah should take away the agony. It was just to earn a living.” He complained about the stomach pain till he gave up the next day which was April 16, 2021.
“My fear is how to train my three children. My first child is nine years old, the second seven and my third baby is just nine months old. Aside this, my husband’s younger ones who are jobless graduates also depend on him. My late husband and I are graduates of School of Agric, Akure, but he took to okada business in order to set up agrochemical shop after unable to get paid employment. . I am appealing to the State government and other citizens to assist me in this my time of need because I have nothing to take care of my children. If anyone was a reason for my existence, it was my late husband. Easy going and always ready to help. A caring father and loving husband. How I wish I could turn back the hands of time,” she wept.
The immediate younger sister to the late Ogunseye, Mrs Adesayo Akinrodoye, who was still in shock about the demise of his brother whom she described as a generous man disclosed that his late brother still chatted with her a day to his death and commented about what she posted on her Whatsapp. “I never knew that was going to be the last. The news of his sudden death is a reality that is difficult to accept. It is a bitter pill for me to swallow. How will I believe that a caring brother of mine is gone forever? A perfect gentleman, a uniting factor who was always ready to render assistance no matter how small. We still have aged parents who have been down since the sad news was broken to them. We only pray that God console us.
“I will want to seize this opportunity to appeal to the State government and other Nigerians for assistance in order to care for my late brother’s family. His children are still young and need adequate care to achieve their goals. We need kind hearted Nigerians to come to our rescue in providing for my late brother’s children,” she pleaded.
The Chairman, Okada Rider Association, Oba-Ile, Mr Adebayo Adekunle who also described the incident as unfortunate explained that he was not around when the accident happened but was latter briefed that it was caused due to over speeding of the truck driver who swerved to the opposite direction killing the okada riders and their passengers.
Mr Adekunle who described the death of the okada riders and their passengers as unfortunate and avoidable, appealed to the state government on behalf of the widows and children left behind by his departed colleagues for financial assistance and begged the state government to erect speed limiter on the road, he said,” I want to commend the efforts of Oba-Ile DPO’s during and after the incident for the seminar organised for the executives of Okada riders, Truck drivers, Civil Defence, VIO, Road Safety, Oba-Ile Youth leaders among others to sensitise them on safety while driving.
“I will equally want to appeal to the state government to erect speed limiter on Oba-Ile express road as it is done in FUTA and Ogbese so as to forestall reoccurrence and save precious lives.