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How Fallen Tree Kills Two, Injures 10 In Kwara



Tragedy struck on Monday morning in the Sango area of Ilorin, Ilorin East Local Government Area of Kwara State when a big tree suddenly fell and killed two persons and injured 10 others.

The incident was said to have happened about 8 am in the Sango area by the roadside near Baystar Petrol Station, opposite the Oke Adini junction of the town.

It was also gathered that the incident threw the area into confusion as one of the victims (a woman) reportedly died on the spot while others were rushed by sympathisers to a private hospital in the area.

It was gathered from the scene of the incident that the fallen tree was one of the two trees standing side by side in the area.

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Some shop owners in the area and a vulcanizer known as Malam Abdulrasheed escaped death as they were yet to open for business when the incident happened.

The deceased persons and the injured persons were waiting by the roadside beside Baystar petrol station Sango area, opposite Oke-Adini junction, Ilorin to board commercial vehicles to their various destinations when the tree suddenly fell on them,” a source who preferred not to be mentioned explained.

About 10 victims of the accident were rushed to a private hospital where they were given first aid treatment while those with serious injuries were transferred to the state hospital and the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital for further treatment.

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The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, SP Okasanmi Ajayi, confirmed the incident.

Okasanmi in a statement said, “A branch of a tree fell off a tree at Sango area this morning, seven persons were affected and were rushed to the hospital, two eventually died and others are still undergoing treatment.

“Investigation on the case is ongoing. Details of the investigation would be made available as soon as it is concluded,” the PPRO said.

It was further gathered that efforts were immediately put in place to ensure the safety of people in the area as saw millers were engaged to clear the fallen tree and the others standing side it.

Kwara state government in a sympathy message said that it had directed that the victims of the accident be taken to the state general hospital for treatment.

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A statement by the Commissioner of Health, Dr Mariam El-Imam, and signed by Press Secretary of the Ministry, Gbenga Falade said, “The tragic and fatal incident followed the unprovoked falling of a large branch of a tree on passers-by, shop owners and commuters awaiting the next available vehicle.

“In a swift response to distress calls received from the Oke-Andi (Oke-Adini) community following the unfortunate falling of a major tree branch on unsuspecting members of the community using the base of the tree as stalls and commuters awaiting the next bus, a team of experts were deployed from the state Ministry of Health to provide emergency care to the victims.

“The team of experts led by the Deputy Director of Medical Services, Dr. Stephen Arigidi, was warmly received at the site of the incident by the duo of the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Amina Ahmed El-Imam and the Commissioner for Environment, Mallam Shehu Ndanusa Usman; who had arrived earlier at the scene of the incident,” part of the statement read.

The Commissioner further assured the public of the government’s continued commitment to their well-being while praying for the speedy recovery of all the affected victims.



Police Recover Locally Fabricated Firearms In Enugu State, Arrest 4 Suspects




The Police in Enugu State said it recovered locally-fabricated arms and ammunition from criminals in the last two weeks.

The security operatives also recovered ATM cards used by criminals to defraud bank customers whose genuine cards they swapped.

Police operatives also arrested four suspects in connection with the recoveries, the spokesman, DSP Daniel Ndukwe, stated on Monday in Enugu.

READ ALSO: Bandits Attack FCT Residents, Abduct Woman, Three Children

Ndukwe said the operatives foiled a robbery attempt in the state capital on Dec. 7 where they arrested a 29-year-old male suspect and recovered one locally-made pistol from him.

His accomplices fled the scene, the spokesman added.

“On. Nov. 26, operatives arrested a 26-year-old male also in the state capital and recovered a locally-fabricated double-barrel pistol from him.

“In a related development, operatives on routine `stop-and-search’ duty on Enugu-Onitsha Expressway, arrested a 22-year-old male who had two live cartridges on him.

“Operatives, in conjunction with security guards at a commercial bank, arrested a 26-year-old in the state capital on Dec. 6 for swapping ATM cards of bank customers.

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“Several ATM cards bearing different names were recovered from him. He confessed to having been engaged in ATM swapping crime for some time.

“His gang members escaped, however,’’ Ndukwe stated.

He added that the Commissioner of Police in Enugu State, Mr Kanayo Uzuegbu, had reaffirmed the commitment of the police to maintain maximum security, law, and order, especially during the yuletide.

“The commissioner enjoins the citizenry to remain law-abiding; be vigilant, and continue to support the police with credible information to further rid the state of criminals.”

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Bandits Attack FCT Residents, Abduct Woman, Three Children




Armed men suspected to be bandits terrorising parts of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT Abuja have attacked the Zone 5 segment of the Kubwa Extension 2 Relocation Estate area of the territory.

DAILY POST learnt that the incident occurred on Sunday night when the armed men invaded the area, shooting sporadically before whisking some persons away.

It was gathered that a woman and her three children, including a six-month-old baby, were kidnapped by the daredevil terrorists.

READ ALSO: Man Arrested For Killing Mother, Sister In Enugu

Details of the unfortunate incident are still sketchy as of press time but there are insinuations by sources that such attacks have become incessant following inadequate security in the area

However, when contacted by DAILY POST, the FCT Police Public Relations Officer, SP Josephine Adeh promised to revert with details.

At the moment, I don’t have details. I will confirm and get back as soon as possible, please”, she said.

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Shettima, Kokori: ‘Nigeria Go Better’ [OPINION]




By Lasisi Olagunju

On the streets of Ibadan, there is an Aisha Suleiman from Kano State begging for alms. The about-22-year-old lady suffered a sudden divorce and everything around her collapsed. The only option she could thereafter think of was to move down south in search of hope – to do street begging. At a spot along the Ring Road in Ibadan, she sat helpless and confused, her vacant, teary eyes looking into the emptiness of today and the nothingness of tomorrow. “He divorced me for no reason; I guess my time in his house came to an end, that was why…But if my husband wants to take me back and he pays my bride price all over again and plans a wedding, then I will go back,” she told Saturday Tribune last month. Helplessness is her situation; surrender is the sole solution she could think of.

You could call her stupid – or even idiotic. But how is your own situation better than that of the worn-out lady on the street? Your leader warms up to you during every election. You vote him in and he pays you almost immediately with ejection. You cry and shed bitter tears. The next election makes him search for you again; and you fall into his arms and the beat goes on. So much has happened since 1999 – enough to make you and I lose hope in everything democracy- but, you know, there is really no other choice. We must always go back to our husbands for them to continue to toy with us. Stories that would make the stone-hearted cry in other lands merely collect furtive glances from us. We grumble and shrug and move on to invent excuses for betrayal and failure.

You heard what Vice President Kashim Shettima said in Abuja on Saturday about the poor in the country being angry with government officials and the elite in general: “All of us here belong to a tiny segment of the Nigerian population. And you don’t need a soothsayer to tell you that the poor are angry with us. Go to the slums and mingle with the poor. I am a native of Maiduguri. Anytime a rich man brought a new car to his house, it (the house) used to be a place of pilgrimage. People (used to) go and see not out of anger, but out of admiration. But now, as we cruise around in our bulletproof cars, one will see contempt in the eyes of the poor. We have to improve the quality of governance. And what we have is a tiny window of not more than 10 to 20 years. Let’s improve the quality of governance.” On poverty and banditry in the North, Shettima said: “They (the poor) are the most neglected segment of our society. You can hardly differentiate between them and their animals. Even the animals they rear belong to those in the city.” Very deep reading of what is happening. It was so nice the words came from the number two man in this government. If they had come from Tribune columnists or from Arise News’ ‘The Morning Show’ people, unappointed defenders of this government would have dubbed us haters of the president and his team.

“But, wait. How did we get here?” my friend asked me after listening to Shettima and watching two other trending video clips; one, an unpretentious street-show of wealth on wheels by the ‘Rich Kids of Abuja.’ The second is of celebratory potentates being worshipped by hungry men and women – because they own this democracy.

“Why did we face the bullets of Sani Abacha at Adamasingba?”

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In a flash of recollection, my friend raised her voice. “You remember? Imagine! We could have lost our lives there and no one would remember we ever lived.”

She was right. We almost became casualties of June 12. Some others did.

What really fueled our audacity that time?” My friend asked again.

“We were dreamers. We thought we were fighting for a future that would be better. That future is now.”

How terribly wrong we were!

My friend now lives in the US. She had so much faith in Nigeria and would insist that nothing would make her jump ship. I took over from her as Nigerian Tribune’s news editor in June 1999. One bad day the previous year (15 April, 1998), the two of us and our immediate boss faced the combined fires of the military and the police at the Lekan Salami Stadium, Adamasingba, Ibadan, venue of an Abacha-for-President rally. The rally held inside the main bowl of the stadium but right outside the stadium was what was called Abacha-Must-Go rally, a counter movement of the masses. The street locked the stadium against the state and its supporters. We were right there; we forgot we were journalists – or rather, we were participant-observers, bullets flying over our heads. People died; it never crossed our minds that we were not bullet-proof, that we could be among the dead or that we could be maimed or arrested and jailed without trial. Then there was the May 1, 1998 epochal climax described by The Journal (15 May, 1998) as the “largest demonstration against military rule since 1994”; and by the BBC (1 May, 1998) as “the biggest anti-government rallies in recent years.” At least seven persons were shot dead that day. We literally walked through those valleys of death. What if we had got shot like the dead and the wounded?

“Our children would not have had any idea what parents we could be. They would have been at the mercy of those who safely watched the war miles away.” And there were many like that. They stayed safe to inherit the land.

“Of course, ‘coward lives long to show brave man’s children where their father was buried.'”

“That is Achebe, right?”

“It is an Igbo proverb. We can check if Achebe invented it but I know he says in ‘Arrow of God’ that ‘we often stand in the compound of a coward to point at the ruins where a brave man used to live.'”

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“Very true. We have a saying here that the brave who donates his head for breaking coconuts does not live to get his share.” We did that.

Hundreds did that, fighting the military, fighting for democracy and thinking that after the storms of that era, calm would reign. One of them was a man called Frank Ovie Kokori. He died on the dot of his 80th birthday last week. He was a labour leader who commanded the people’s army against Abacha’s. He brought the military with their tanks to their knees. But he and his comrades were wrong; they won the battle but lost the war. People who fought at the home front that time lost out completely. Kokori led a suicidal strike onslaught against Abacha and spent four years in detention for democracy. Twenty-four years after the birth of that democracy, the man died sad. He ran his career fighting for justice; he ended his career fighting desperately for his life.

Last month, on his hospital bed, Kokori told the world that he was dying and abandoned. He told some journalists: “Please do your best. Flash it. I can come alive again but I just want the world to know that if I survive, I will shame the leaders of this country. Shame to them. How can Kokori be in a third class hospital? I’m dying.” His hospital switched off the AC because there was no electricity and, (ironically) because diesel was too expensive. Kokori, the quintessential oil man of 1994, was, because of cost of diesel, denied use of air conditioner in 2023, a month before his death! It didn’t appear anyone heard Kokori’s last cries. Even the inheritors of the widow which Kokori forced the military to drop turned their deceased ear to what he was saying. And he died, broken. Even in death, how many of his ‘colleagues’ have you read mourning him? May his great soul rest in peace.

But it appears that Kokori’s is not the only death in the air. Businesses are dying; smart ones who have the swiftness of the eagle, are flying out while midwives of disaster wring their hands. Why would multinationals not leave? Sensible people learn survival from creations and entities gifted with the sixth sense. A report speaks of “worms that flee rising groundwater; sharks that flee to deeper water just before a big hurricane arrives; birds that hunker down before a big storm.” Companies are bailing out of Nigeria because they do not just look, they see. They think they owe themselves that duty of care.

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“You know P&G?”
“Yes. Procter & Gamble.” ‘Improving Everyday Life; Force for Growth; Force for Good.’ Those words welcome visitors to their website. They make pampers; they make Ariel, they make Oral B toothpaste. They employed hundreds of Nigerians, directly and indirectly. Last week, the company announced its exit from Nigeria. Before P&G, there was Sanofi-Aventis, a French pharmaceutical company; there was GlaxoSmithKline (GSK); there were others. They all held tight to their ears and ran out of Nigeria’s volcanic field. It is both tragic and ghastly.

What do you call a land that kills oaks and their acorns with relish? P&G commenced operations in Nigeria in 1992; GSK came into Nigeria on July 1, 1972. These multinational companies came in when there was no democracy; democracy has chased them out. P&G said Nigeria is a difficult place for businesses to operate – the same reason others gave for their exit. The environment is toxic. They downgraded Nigeria to a dump site for their goods made abroad. Procter & Gamble has one of the biggest factories in Ibadan. I won’t speak about the employees – they are the beard of the burnt cleric. But you should ask what will happen to that vast compound now? It is in an industrial estate but directly opposite the factory is the biggest church in Ibadan. The factory can wither and die, the church won’t. It may, in fact, not mind extending its protective foliage over that site. The prayer industry booms. As P&G was announcing its closure of business in Nigeria, the House on the Rock was holding its crowd-pulling Experience; Winners Chapel its Shiloh, the RCCG its Holy Ghost Congress. We are a praying nation of very hungry people.

What has this democracy done for Nigeria? Everyone outside government asks that question. Journalists of the 1990s did more than journalism and suffered more than what journalists normally suffer. Kunle Ajibade, Niran Malaolu and Chris Anyanwu were arrested, tried and sentenced for the military offence of coup making. Femi Adeoti of Sunday Tribune was in Agodi Prisons for reporting what government found offensive. They were lucky; some others died. Everyone paid so heavily that Nigeria could have a government of the people for the people. They suffered for nothing. On 20 June, 1998, three Nigerian Tribune journalists (Modupe Olubanjo, Adelowo Oladipo and Alaba Igbaroola) tasted the stuff the then strongman of Ibadan politics, Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu, was made of. He was Abacha’s main man in Yorubaland. The journalists were in Adedibu’s house to interview him on the political situation in the country but they asked the ‘wrong’ questions and suffered for it. They were assaulted; their recording gadget was snatched from them and the cassette in it removed. Adedibu advised the journalists to “forget (about) that cassette. I will give you money. How much does your cassette cost? I will give you.” The journalists replied, “No, it is not the money that matters now, but the cassette which is very important in order for people to hear your views as you stated them.” Enforcers got them roughened, then chased them out (see the Nigeria Media Monitor of 6 July, 1998).

There is a man called Ayo Opadokun. He was the Secretary-General and spokesman of NADECO who was seized and jailed by Abacha for talking too much. If you thought it was impossible to live solely on tea and banana for one month, you’ve not listened to Opadokun: “I was the only one they took to a cell, bare floor, no window. There was an opening that mosquitoes flew from to feast on me. I decided not to eat any food. The officers asked (me to tell them) whatever I thought I needed and that they would buy for me. Some of them who appeared to be friendly, I asked them to buy me banana and Lipton tea. That was what I took once a day for 33 days…”, Ayo Opadokun told the Nigerian Tribune some years ago. He is old now. His heroic deeds, just like Kokori’s, no one remembers.

Yam seeds must rot for us to get new yams. That is what our fathers told us – and we believed them. But the Nigerian harvest feeds only the powerful. If you understand Yoruba and pidgin English, pause and listen to Saheed Osupa’s 2009 song: ‘Nigeria Go Better.’ As a child, the Fuji icon heard ‘Nigeria e go better’. Now that he is a father, what he hears is still ‘Nigeria e go better’. “Is it when I become grandfather that Nigeria will be better?” he asks. That album was waxed 14 years ago, ten years into this democracy. Sixty-four years after independence and 24 years of this democracy; it is still ‘Nigeria go better.’ Our banana is progressively rotting; it is not ripening. The hungry are hungrier; the sick are sicker; the greedy greedier, the satanic more satanic and audacious.

“Osupa should be a grandpa now; what sequel to that song will he sing?” My friend asked again. I thought that was a challenge for the gifted musician to take. Then, to my friend I turned:

“You know what we ran into in the name of democracy?”


“An ambush.”

This article written by Dr. Lasisi Olagunju, Editor, Saturday Tribune, was first published by the newspaper. It’s published here with permission from the author.

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