Driver of the Lagos State Government Staff bus who was blamed for the incident that led to a train colliding with a bus at the PWD/ Shogunle railway line , on the Agege motor road , Lagos Thursday, has appealed to victims of the accident to forgive him.
While some survivors said the 44-year-old driver , Oluwaseun Osinbajo, had his ear piece on while driving and ignored directive of the Flag Officers at the rail line, he however, blamed the cause on a mechanical fault in the bus.
Besides, the Police said that outcome of the medical report , among which was a blood sample to ascertain if the driver was on drugs or mentally fit , was yet to be out as of time of writing this report.
The driver who works with the Lagos State Ministry of Transport, was transferred to the State Criminal Intelligence and Investigations Department , SCIID, yesterday.
Vanguard overheard him narrating to some of his relatives who were waiting for him there.
He said, ” It was not my fault. How could I have ignored warning signs ? The bus had a mechanical fault.
” It is a pity this has happened. I beg everyone affected to please forgive me in the name of God”
Identities of some victims
Identities of some who survived and were rushed to the Orile Agege General hospital on Thursday were:
Mr. Juwon Fagbohun , 27, from the Agency for Mass Education; Adesoji Ajibade, of the Office of the Head of Service; Mariam Olayiwola,18, Ministry of Health and Eniola Fashoyin 53 , from the Office of the Head of Service, PSO Alausa.
Other were: Mrs. Adejoke Banjo, 42, from the Office of the Head of Service; Olaide Alabi, 21, a student on Industrial Attachment with the Ministry of Wealth Creation and Empowerment ; Sekinat Ogunremi, 24, from the Ministry of Justice; Aishat Gbadegeshin, 25, from the Ministry Of Establishment and Training; Ganiyat Raji, from the Ministry of Science and Technology and Mrs Oluwatoyin Abiodun, 46, a staff of the Ministry of Information and Strategy.
My survival a miracle – Changing seat saved me
Some of them were yet to come out of the shock. Describing her survival as a miracle, one of them disclosed how she narrowly escaped death. The survivor who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said, ” I would have been one of those in the morgue.
I boarded the bus at Ikotun and sat on the middle row, close to the window , a position that had become my permanent seat.
“But on that fateful day, a friend from the Head of Service ( names withheld) invited me to come sit with her on the third row , in front . She said the person she reserved the seat for called to say she won’t be joining the staff bus. That was how I left my permanent seat, which happened to be the exact place the train hit.
” Any time I remember that, I would quickly dismiss the thought of death with a shrug. This can only be God and I am grateful”.
Another survivor who simply gave her name as Ope, said , ” The staff bus, conveys every staff of the Lagos State State Government living in Ikotun/Isolo area, irrespective of the department or agency, as long as the staff is headed for the secretariat.
” I sat in the first three rolls in front. I slept off immediately I boarded the bus in order to catch some sleep before reaching the office.
“But I was jostled from sleep by shout of e ma lo, e duro( don’t go, wait!). I woke up to know what what happening. Before I could raise my head, I heard a loud bang. The impact flung many of us from our seats . I hit my head on a hard object and passed out. By the time I opened my eyes, I found myself in an ambulance that brought me to Orile Agege General Hospital”.
Meanwhile, when the Commissioner of Police in charge of Railway Command CP Yetunde Longe arrived the scene same day, she ordered that the driver be subjected to a medical test which included psychological and drug test.
When contacted to find out the outcome of the test, she said the result was yet to be out.
She said: ” We handed the driver over to doctors for medical examination, because there was a flag officer at the railway crossing flagging him down, but he refused to stop. That’s why we must subject him to thorough medical examination.
“As a driver this is one of the tests you have to take note of because when you get to a level crossing, a train operator will be honking to get people aware that a train is approaching. Drivers should ensure they are patient for the train to pass.”
” His blood sample has been taken and we await the result”. she said.
A sense of barrier
However, some Lagos residents faulted the Nigeria Railway Corporation for not erecting barrier at the spot.
A staff of the Lagos State Ministry of Justice , Fagbemin Sognesan, said ” ordinarily, there should be a barrier at every bus-stop on the railway. If one was constructed, it would have forced the driver of the Lagos State Government Staff bus to slow down and allow the train passage. I just hope government will take this into consideration and do the needful.”_.
Sanwo-Olu commiserates with families of victims
One of the victims who lost her life in the crash was Mrs Esther Olayinka Rokosu, who resided on block 361, flat 5, Jakande Estate, Oke-Afa, Lagos. The late Esther who clocked 40 years on Monday, March 6,2023, was a staff of the Office of the Head of Service. She planned to celebrate her birthday this Sunday.
But she reportedly got a call from her boss who requested for a flash drive with her, consequent upon which she went to deliver it on Thursday, unknown to her that she would not live to celebrate her birthday tomorrow.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu personally visited her widower , Raymond, yesterday afternoon, to condole with him.
Raymond, could not control his emotion as he burst into tears all through .
Thereafter, the governor left for Bunknor , on the same axis, to condole with the bereaved father.