From Femi Oyelola , Kaduna
Kaduna State Government had set up a five- man panel to investigate the death of five students of Victory International School Ungwar Yelwa in Chikun Local government Area of the state.
The Deputy Governor of the state, Arc.Bala Barnabas Bantex disclosed this when he paid condolences visit to the families of the five students who were drowned when on excursion to Kaduna state Water Board Plant.
Bantex said the state Governor, Mallam Nasir El Rufai has directed the setting up of the panel in order to unveil the circumstances surrounding the death of the students.
He said any act of complexity in the incident will not be tolerated.
He added that the state government is interested in what happened on the sad day in order to check reoccurrence.
The deputy governor assured the parents and families of the deceased students that the state government is with them at this period of the bereaved.
“The Governor of Kaduna state, Mallam Nasir Ahmad El Rufai directed me to visit you and assured you that we are monitoring the incident.
“The state Fire Services and State Emergency Management Agency are part of the rescue team
“We are sadden by this death of vibrant youths who are the future of the country. No amount of worlds can replace your love one but we encouraged you to have faith in God because he knows why this happened,.”he said
Meanwhile, Kaduna State Commissioner of Police, Mr Agyole Abeh has said the State Police Command will use all instruments within its reach to bring to justice anybody found wanting in the accident that led to death of the students . He stated this while speaking to the media in Kaduna yesterday.
According to the CP, somebody has committed an act of negligence by not providing the students with lifejackets and provision for rescue operation in case of emergency.
Abeh who was reacting to angry parents who stormed the school demanding to know the where about of their wards said every parent will be aggrieved if they found themselves in such situation especially when proper precaution was not taken.
“Accident of any type can happen but in a situation where students were taken on excursion to the Water Board Plant but were later put in a canoe without proper safety apparatus can make parents to react the way they did morning, we have commenced investigation and our Legal department has been directed to file a case of negligence and manslaughter against any in complicity.
“However, I call on parents and sympathizers to restrain from taken the law into their hands, we are doing every possible to ensure that they justice is done,” he said.
A father to one of the victims, Mr. Benjamin Ikphasu who could not hold back his tears, said the victim was his only son who had the ambition of studying Medicine.
“My life is finished, because my wife for the past eleven years has been psychiatric patient and my only consolation is my only son whom Kaduna State Water board has sent to his early grave due to negligence.
“From all that happened yesterday, it shows that Kaduna State Water Board staff are careless in handling emergency, they don’t have divers, we had to engaged the services of local fishermen to help in the rescue operation, these children are the future of Nigeria and they are killing them gradually, so what future do we have?” he stressed.
However, the corpses of the five students have been laid to rest at the Television Village Cementry after Christian rites.
It would be recalled that, the late five students were part of 50 students of Victory International School that were on excursion to Kaduna state Water Board Plant near Station Market. They were put in Iron Canoe in order to move to the middle of the river to see the source of water supply but there was a mishap that resulted in the sad incidents.