No fewer than 19 people were killed in two separate auto-crashes in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital during this year’s Sallah celebration.
Three people were burnt to ashes Friday morning in the state capital while 16 others died in a separate multiple crash involving a trailer and a commuter bus at Osin River Community, a suburb of Ilorin at the beginning of the festivity on Wednesday.
Kwara State Sector Commander of the FRSC, Ola Ademoluti, confirmed the incident, saying that the three people were burnt to ashes on Sallah morning in Ilorin.
It was also gathered that a 10-year-old boy survived Wednesday’s crash as he was rescued under the wreckage of the vehicles some hours after the tragic incident.
Witnesses said that the commuter bus was conveying passengers who were returning to Gbadamu-Ologi village in Ilorin East Local Government Area from Oke-Oyi Market where they had gone to shop in preparation for the Eid-el-Kabir celebration, pointing out that the accident occurred when the driver of the trailer lost control of the vehicle while descending a slope at high speed.
The eyewitness said that the trailer crushed the commuter bus while maneuvering through the rough part of the spot as it descended the slope.
However, FRSC Commader Adeyemi confirmed that the remains of the victims had been deposited at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, UITH, Ilorin.
On the crash involving the petrol tanker, eye witnesses told Saturday Vanguard that brake failure caused the incident as the tanker rammed into the taxi cab around Oke Oyi, near the NNPC depot, which caught fire as the content spilled.
However, reports from across the country showed that there was peaceful celebration even as the former President Shehu Shagari, Governors Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto State and Kashim Shettima, Sultan Sa’ad Abubakar and Ambassador Shehu Malami, Governors Babatunde Fashola, Mauzu Babangida Aliyu, Ibikunle Amosun and the ACN leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu were among prominent Nigerians who prayed yesterday to mark this year’s Eid-el-Kabir celebration.
Others included former Minister of Mines and Power, Muhammed Ahmed Gusau and his counterpart in Ministry of Culture, Senator Bello Jibrin Gada.
However, contrary to wide speculations by the Joint Task Force JTF in Maiduguri and Damaturu, the Borno and Yobe state capitals that the Boko Haram sect will launch massive attacks before, during and after the Sallah, there was a peaceful celebration in both states with massive turn out of Muslim faithfuls at their various Eid el Kabir praying grounds.