Hours after a Bus Rapid Transit, BRT, bus crushed a 16-year-old school boy, Daniel Ezekiel, to death at Ogolonto Bus Stop, along Ikorodu Road in Lagos, his guardians – Dr. and Mrs. Olajide Oyesanya, are yet to come to terms with the tragic reality of their loss.
Vanguard reports they are still in shock that their beloved Ezekiel is gone forever, and more so by the bizarre and cruel manner of his death.
This is because the bus had on impact crushed and decapitated Ezekiel in a manner reminiscent of the guillotine horror of the French Revolution era.
In fact, Mrs. Oyesanya said on waking up Tuesday morning, she momentarily forgot that Ezekiel was gone and was waiting for him to knock on her door and say: “Grandma, I want to go to school”. But that knock never came.
For now, theirs is a lamentation of pain laced with regret. The regret is that their wish of sending Ezekiel to school so that he would become great had ended in tragedy.
Yet when young Daniel left home in the morning of that fateful Monday, March 5, 2018, little did he or his guardians nurse any premonition that death was lurking like a remorseless, vengeful reaper on the way.
Oyesanya told Vanguard Metro that after consuming a heavy meal that morning the boy was in high spirits and cheerfully waved them goodbye as he left home for the school.
“But we didn’t know that was the last time we will see him,” they wept, adding: “We fed Ezekiel at 7:15am but picked up his corpse two hours later, at about 9:45am.”
Narrating their experiences on what transpired on the fateful day, a distraught Mrs. Oyesanya informed that since she enrolled Ezekiel in school last January, he had always taken his breakfast by 7:15am before proceeding to school at 7:20am.
“And on that fateful day, he left home to school. But I was alerted of the incident that happened by someone who told me to find out if Ezekiel was safe. Immediately I started calling his teacher, but she refused to pick my call.
I thought they were on assembly ground so I called the school director who also didn’t pick my calls. At that moment, I knew there was a problem.
I was confused and my husband also called to inform me to proceed to his school. On my way, someone told me that Ezekiel had been rushed to Ikorodu General Hospital.
When I got to the hospital premises, I was told to identify the lifeless body of Ezekiel; at that moment, I knew I had lost our dear child. I couldn’t believe my eyes that the child I fed at exactly 7:15am had become a corpse for me to pick at exactly 9:45am,” she said amidst tears.
“We are only two in this house, my husband and I. Since we are getting old and all our children are grown up, we thought it will be nice to have a small child that can keep us company. So we contacted a lady in our community to help us find someone to stay with us.
They eventually helped us to get Ezekiel from the Northern part of the country; that was around August last year.
Our initial plan was to enroll him in school by October this year but due to the fact that it was late to do so, we decided to enroll him in January this year, a decision I now regret.
He was 15 years when they brought him to us, and they told us that he was in JSS3 in Kaduna State before he came to Lagos. But when we took him to school, they told us that he should start from Primary Four”.
She hinted that their aim of enrolling him in school was to ensure that he became a great person in future and to contribute his own quota to Nigeria’s development,adding:
“Unfortunately that dream has been cut short by the BRT driver”.
“He is a very pleasant child. Sometimes after offending me and I threatened to send him back to the village, he would beg me and say: ‘Mummy pray for me, I will not do that again’.
People in this community liked him; and education wise, he showed a lot of promise. “Whenever he returned from school, before taking his meal, he would do his assignment and ask me to look at it; and in case there was any error I would correct it for him”.
Ezekiel’s last moment:
Sources said that Ezekiel alighted from a cab with other students, and they were being taking across in batches to the other side of the BRT corridor by the school security official.
But misunderstanding the flag man’s signal, the boy was said to have attempted dashing across the BRT corridor, believing that the road was clear.
Unfortunately he was hit by a fast-moving BRT bus. As a result of the impact, his head severed from his body. The driver was said to have taken to his heels immediately, for fear of possible mob action against him.
Mrs. Oyesanya said that Ezekiel’s family in Kaduna had been notified about his tragic demise. She informed that “their eldest sister lives around here”, adding: their parents gave birth to three of them. His father is late and the mother is in Kaduna”.
Asked by Vanguard Metro team to say what Ezekiel meant to him and his wife, Dr. Olajide Oyesanya was almost overwhelmed by emotion as he informed that doing so would entail him shedding uncontrollable tears.
“To talk about Ezekiel will only make me to cry; yes, the moment I start doing so, tears will definitely start rolling down my cheeks. So, please just leave me,” he pleaded with feeling.
The Oyasanyas, however, would want government to construct a pedestrian bridge to immortalise Ezekiel and also serve the purpose of preventing a reoccurence of such tragic incident.
An official of Primero Transport Services, operator of the Bus Rapid Transit, BRT, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the management had begun investigation into the crash and there was high possibility of compensating the deceased family.