The Chairman of the Ekiti State National Association of Government and General Medical & Dental Practioners (NAAGGMDP), Dr. Ekundare Folu has refuted claims that the accident that led to loss of lives of six Ekiti State medical doctors was due to overspeeding.
No less than six medical doctors were killed in a fatal auto crash on Sunday, April 24th, 2016 while traveling for an NMA (Nigerian Medical Association) event in Sokoto. The ugly incident occurred along the notorious Abuja-Kaduna highway.
The Kaduna State Sector Command of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) attributed the accident to ‘over speeding’.
According to the Deputy Corps Commander, Salisu Galadunci, over speeding was responsible for a larger percentage of accidents on Nigerian roads.
He said drivers should desist from over speeding to save lives.
“The 18-seater bus the doctors were traveling in had a tyre bust due to over speeding, hence the loss of lives,” he said.
The comment credited to the Sector Head of Operations, Deputy Corps Commander, Salisu Galadunci, of the FRSC has not gone down well with stakeholders of the NMA.
Dr. Ekundare Folu, who survived the crash along with five others, said the comments from FRSC are rather unfortunate.
“This is an FRSC that got to scene of the accident more than 40minutes after it had occurred,” he lamented.
“This is an FRSC that were reluctant to take us to the hospital claiming they don’t have fuel and didn’t budge until one of the injured victims promised to buy fuel for them. The Deputy Corps Commander was not at the scene of the accident.
“Neither himself nor any of his representatives spoke to us who survived the accident. The Deputy Corps Commander did not even see the vehicle either at the scene of the accident or at the police station.
“How he jumped to that conclusion is beyond me. The comment is an insult to my dead colleagues and a slap on those of us that survived. For his information this is not a driver we picked off the road to take us for the journey. This is a man that has been working with us for more than 4 years. He is indirectly telling the world that a bus containing 12 doctors including several senior consultants could not control a driver we employed and paid salaries to.
“I was in the same vehicle sitting in the row behind the driver and I checked the speedometer from time to time. The bus also makes a beeping sound once the speed exceeds 110km/hr. Let me state categorically that the bus driver was not speeding.
“The FRSC are probably only trying to justify their intention to sell their speed limiting device to Nigerians hence associating every possible accident to excessive speeding. And it is very sad that they would even attempt to use such a sad event to do such.
“Even the police would not convey the bodies to the mortuary in their van until we parted with 4, 000 naira. I personally dropped 3, 000 naira but the police officer rejected it, dropping the money on their vehicle until the NMA Chairman, Dr. Akinbote added 1, 500 naira.
“The second police vehicle that conveyed those of us unhurt and our luggage to join the others to the hospital also had to be tipped with 3, 500 naira for black market fuel.”
An undisclosed source within the NMA confirmed Dr. Folu’s account of events, adding that Kaduna NMA had to drop 5, 000 naira for each of the four vehicles the police and FRSC staff used (totaling 20, 000 naira) for fueling to return to their base. “Some of them only collected the monies reluctantly complaining that 5, 000 naira was meagre because they were going to buy from the black market,” the source said.
Dr. Folu commended the efforts of Governor Ayodele Fayose who offered support to the ailing survivors. He also acknowledged the Senator representing Doka Local Government in Kaduna for deeming it fit to visit them in the hospital. Appreciation was also extended to NMA Kaduna and the Chief Medical Director of Neuropsychiatric Hospital, as well as all who showed care and support throughout the trying period.