TO describe the auto crash that claimed the lives of a couple, and eight other members of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) traveling from the monthly camp meeting on the Lagos – Ibadan Expressway to Ondo town as tragic is an understatement.
Three of the victims, a Zonal Pastor in Ondo Province 2, Pastor Dominic Folorunso Akinseye, 52; his wife, Beatrice; and Pastor Festus Akinsoyinu Fadakinte, were staff of the Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo while the seven other passengers in the bus were staunch members of the church. Reports had it that the impact of the crash was so much that it took time before the mangled bodies of the deceased persons could be removed from the wreckage.
Sunday Vanguard was informed that seven persons died on the spot while four others were rushed to the Trauma Centre in Ondo town but three others later died.
Some members of the church equally returning to their states after the programme, who saw the crash, made frantic efforts to free the mangled bodies of the victims from under the stationary vehicle their bus reportedly rammed into in Kajola village near Ore.
Tears flowed freely as traffic around the scene of the crash built up and, for hours, traffic on the express road came to a stand still. The passengers of the bus were said to have left Redemption Camp earlier with the intention of getting back to Ondo for a wedding ceremony of a member of the Province slated for Saturday, May 2. Akinseye was a second term Chairman of the Non- Academic Staff Union, NASU, of the Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo while the wife, Beatrice, was also a member of the union and the Secretary in the Guidance and Counselling Department of the institution. He was said to have been re-elected the NASU Chairman few months ago.
Sources said the wife had gone to Lagos ahead of the husband to visit relations only to join the team at the camp for the programme. It was learnt that Akinseye was driving the Toyota bus belonging to the NASU Chapter of the college when the crash occurred. Sources hinted that the crash might have been caused by poor visibility which made the bus to ram into a trailer said to have been parked along the ever busy Lagos/ Ore Express way.
Eleven of the church members reportedly boarded the NASU bus to attend the monthly programme because of the fuel scarcity in the country. Many other church members who would have loved to join the bus could not because the pastor insisted that he would not overload the vehicle.
The tragic and sudden death of the Akinseyes threw Adeyemi College of Education into mourning. Worst hit was the NASU which both couple belonged to before their death. The union building was adored with the posters of the obituary of the couple while workers wore long faces. Sunday Vanguard learnt that the General Overseer (GO) of the church pastor Enock Adejare Adeboye, visited the families of the deceased, the church and the college to commiserate with them while the only survivor is still receiving treatment at the Trauma Center, Ondo.
A funeral service was held for the Akinseyes while a lying in state was done at the College Quadrangle before they were interred in their residence located at No 3 Adebusoye Street, Ayeyemi, Ondo. Akinseye’s former colleagues described him as a rare gem, vibrant and a fearless leader, friendly and an uncompromising union leader.
They said these attributes earned him second term as NASU Chairman. They paid tributes to the couple and wondered why death took him at this period when leaders like him are few in the nation’s tertiary institutions.
“Who are we to blame God? He giveth and taketh. Glory be to His holy name”, said a Christian colleague at the college. Another colleague, Mr Adebare Akinsiku, prayed God to grant the deceased couple eternal rest and send help to their children and dependants they left behind. Speaking with Sunday Vanguard, Ondo State Chairman of NASU, Comrade Clement Asepiri, described the late Akinseye as a “ good man, hard working, uncompromising and a loving leader.” Asepiri said the union has lost a worthy leader who was forthright and a good example of a Christian.