By Etta Michael Bisong
Mr. Rufus Ebegba has called on the Minister of Education, Alhaji Ibrahim Shekarau, to take action against management of the University of Abuja over the untimely death of his daughter, Miss. Afoke Ebegba.
Miss. Ebegba, an undergraduate student of Biological Sciences Department lost her life after she was knocked down by an oncoming vehicle without head light at about 8:00 pm on 7th November, 2014 while returning from school after failed efforts to defend her project.
‘’Her death has greatly devastated my family and we blame the insensitivity of the University of Abuja for her death,’’ Mr. Ebegba said. ‘’Instead of receiving a degree certificate of my daughter, what I got from the University of Abuja after 4 years of her study was death certificate.’’
The aggrieved man in a letter address to the minister and other relevant authorities in the sector lamented that his daughter wouldn’t have died if custodians of the institution had ensured adequate welfare and security before inviting the students for the exercise.
Despite lack of access to the following measures, the father of the decease girl argued that instead of providing a clear time table for the exercise to ensure orderliness, the lecturers detained the students endlessly into the night paving way for the car to kill her.
Other issues in the letter raised against the school include – the extension of the project defense into the middle of the night as against the official government working hour, lack of lighting system around the school gate, non-accessibility of an uncompleted pedestrian bridge which is some kilometers away from the school and uncivilised manner with which lecturers treat the students.
Five children according to him have died on that road under the same circumstance which is enough for the school to have taken some pragmatic steps to avert future occurrence.
While narrating the nonchalant attitude of the institution towards the family since the incident, Mr. Ebegba disclosed that his desire is to ensure that a ‘’Committee is constituted’’ to investigate the lecturers that detained his daughter and the circumstances which led to her death, so as to make recommendations to the University on how to address the issues raised above.
‘’Life is sacred and we should not make it look cheap and allow our children to die in vain when it’s avoidable,’’ he said. ‘’What I need is justice and nobody should die again at that spot.’’