One week after a patrol vehicle belonging to the Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC) rammed into a provision store and killed some people in Alkaleri, families of the victims have lamented negligence from authorities and demanded for compensation to alleviate their sufferings.
A victim of the accident, Danazumi Taila, said apart from death and injuries, some victims have been rendered idle and hopeless because “Our means of livelihood have been damaged.”
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Narrating his ordeal, TaiIa said, “I was sitting beside the provision store when the accident occured. My motorcycle, two others and a tricycle popularly known as Kekenapep were parked in front of the shop when the FRSC vehicle rammed into the shop and killed two people on the spot – a nursing mother and her daughter. Later, another woman who was also inside the Kekenapep died. Three other people sustained fractures and three young girls hawking around there also sustained various degrees of injuries. A total of 16 people were victims of the accident.”
Taila explained that since after the incident, no one has contacted the victims. “We went to the Alkaleri Police station and demanded the whereabouts of our motorcycles and compensation of the damages done. The police told us that they’re yet to discuss with the FRSC. We went to the palace of the District Head of Alkaleri and laid out complain because the motorcycles are our only means of livelihood. It is the same motorcycles that we use to evacuate our grains from the farm and now is harvest period. We are forced to either hire or pay commercial drivers for the services.”
Twenty-eight-year-old Ahmadu Ibrahim, who lost his wife and only daughter in the crash, said, “It was a horrible experience because I was told that both my wife and daughter died on the spot. I was not in Alkaleri when the accident happened, A friend called me to come to the general hospital immediately.”
Ibrahim said, “My wife came to Alkaleri that faithful day on a condolence visit to her sibling. She left the house in the morning, not knowing it would be our last moment. I also left the house and returned thrice but met her absence. On the fourth return, I received a phone call that my wife was involved in an accident.
“My greatest disappointment is that five days after the accident, no single person either from the FRSC or police visited our family to condole or commiserate with us over the unfortunate incident.
“I am appealing to the federal and state governments to take quick action and to pay compensation on the lives of my wife and daughter killed by their agents,” Ibrahim added.
Another victim of the accident, 52-year-old Naira Adamu, who sustained double fracture in his arm and leg, told Daily Trust that he has been left to his fate. “Today is exactly five days after the incident but nobody, including the FRSC personnel that knocked us down, has visited to know our condition. I am a petty trader who struggles to feed my family. I have 21 persons including women and children under my care but this unfortunate incident has knocked me down.
The owner of the provision store which the FRSC vehicle rammed into, Alhaji Bose, who also had a broken leg, said he was transacting business with customers when suddenly “I just saw the vehicle coming into the shop at top speed and before I knew it, the vehicle knocked me down.
Bose explained that after the incident, FRSC personnel led by the State Sector Commander in company of police officers and some local government officials visited him to commiserate with him over what happened. “They also asked me to contact one of the FRSC personnel if I need some drugs for the treatment. They also begged me to exercise patience over the tragic event and left.
“Since then, I have not heard from or seen anyone from the FRSC over the accident. I paid the traditional bone doctor who treated me. I have 10 children and my source of livelihood has been destroyed and all the goods damaged, yet no one has come to my aid.
When contacted, the Sector Commander FRSC in Bauchi State Yusuf Abdullahi said the command has not neglected or abandoned the victims, saying, “This is an accident case. I cannot sit down and declare a conclusive statement about the case but we went round to to see all the affected victims to let them know that we regretted what happened. We sympathised with each and every one. At the hospital, I personally gave out money to alleviate their suffering.
“We have a clinic that serves the community and after the accident, we asked doctors at the general hospital to prescribe drugs so we can get them at FRSC clinic for free. Two of the victims I met in the hospital have been discharged. After they were discharged, they brought medical bills of N23, 800 for me to offset,” he said.
He added: “For the man who lost his wife and daughter, I donated a bag of rice, a bag of sugar and grains, as well as a jerry can of oil to support him during this trying period. We also donated two bags of cement and N3000 for labour to support the reconstruction of the damaged shop. For the owners of motorcycles, we released them and also donated N5000 each for the repairs of their motorcycles.”
Abdullahi lamented that he was not informed of a victim who sustain fractures in his arm and leg, adding, “I could have gone there to visit him and offer our support; so apart from him, I went round to commiserate with all those who sustained injuries.”