Samson Folarin

There has been outrage over the alleged nonchalant attitude of popular interstate transport company, Young Shall Grow Motors Limited, which led to the death of 10 passengers in an accident at the Asese end of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Ogun State.

While some Nigerians urged the families of the deceased to sue for damages, others demanded a cessation of operation of the company and withdrawal of its licences.

This is just as the Federal Road Safety Corps summoned the management of the transport company to its Abuja office.

Our correspondent learnt that the company could be prosecuted for the deaths.

PUNCH Metro had reported that about 42 passengers left the South-East for Lagos in a Marcopolo bus belonging to the company.

The bus driver was said to have rammed into a stationary truck around 5.30am on Tuesday, killing nine persons on the spot, while the 10th victim died in a hospital

Survivors of the accident claimed that the bus driver smoked and drank while driving recklessly.

He was alleged to have threatened the passengers for daring to report him to the police.

A survivor, Godwin Ikechukwu, said when he called the customer care line of the transport company to report the excesses of the driver, he was assured that the matter would be addressed.

He noted that when nothing was done and he called back, the phone rang out several times until it was switched off.

Some Nigerians who read the report on PUNCH Onlinesaid people should stop using the services of Young Shall Grow Motors because the company failed to take action to protect the passengers when it mattered.

One Ayodele Sanni said, “It’s time for the FRSC to clamp down heavily on drivers, their respective companies and those selling alcohol in motor parks and not forgetting the government agency that licensed them. Passenger bus drivers must undergo frequent drug, alcohol and psychology checks. They must be certified by registered doctors and made to pay for the cost of such tests.”

A poster, with the alias, Afroeagle, said the incident showed that human lives did not have value in the country.

“Imagine the efforts made by the passengers to avert this disaster. The company should be investigated, suspended and sanctioned by the government for criminal negligence. The families of the deceased and surviving passengers should sue the life out of the company. This is terrible and should not be swept under the carpet,” another reader, Jprince, said.

A poster, Ofili Chucks, who claimed to have had a similar experience, said the passengers could have taken over the steering from the driver.

A reader with the alias, New Dawn, said, “What the survivors have helped to establish is that Young Shall Grow as a corporate entity failed to ensure the safety of its customers.”

Another poster, with the alias, ScrollCreed, alleged that the transport company had a history of frequent road crashes with high casualties.

One Undertaker lamented the lack of regulatory bodies in the country to monitor the excesses of transport companies, adding that the traffic agencies in Nigeria had been compromised.

“The company will end up sending envelopes to the FRSC and the Nigerian police, and before you say Jack Robinson, the matter is closed and the driver is on wheels again, planning another disaster,” he added.

The Corps Public Education Officer of the FRSC, Abuja, Bisi Kazeem, in a telephone chat with PUNCH Metro on Thursday said the Corps Marshall, Mr Boboye Oyeyemi, had directed that the company appeared before a panel set up to investigate the incident.

Kazeem said the company could be prosecuted at the end of its investigation.

He said, “We have asked them to come to Abuja. After investigation, the company may be prosecuted. First of all, we want to know if they are registered with Road Safety Standardisation Scheme and if they have complied with training and other things under that law.”

Our correspondent also learnt that family members of some of the deceased had approached the FRSC and management of the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu, to identify their relatives who died in the accident.

While the authorities at the FRSC confirmed the development, efforts to reach the Chief Medical Director of OOUTH, Dr Peter Adefuye, were abortive.

The Medical Director of Divine Touch Hospital, Ibafo, Dr Dotun Odofin, whose hospital the injured were taken to, said the last survivor had been referred to OOUTH.

He said, “Eight injured victims were brought to our hospital originally. One died a few minutes after he was brought, while six were discharged. The last survivor, a Togolese, had a fracture and some internal injuries.We used our ambulance to convey him to OOUTH.”

Copyright PUNCH.

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