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Tears, wailings, anger, as Fashina, TASUED final year student is buried

Published by Tribune on Mon, 27 Feb 2012

Olayinka Olukoya, in this report, captures the mood at the burial ceremony of Fashina Olatunji David, the student of Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun, who lost his life while on a journey to Abeokuta to protest the merging of his school with Olabisi Onabanjo University.'If the Ogun State government had not announced the scrapping of our school which led to protests by the students, especially the Students Union Government, maybe, my friend and colleague would not have embarked on this journey of no return. This is sad and quite unfortunate. We have lost one of the potential leaders of this country.'The above lamentation was by Moses Kuteyi, a student of Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED), Ijagun, in Odogbolu Local Government Area of Ogun State, at the burial of late Fashina Olatunji David, fondly called 'Humble TJ', a final year Social Work student of the premier university of education in Nigeria, who lost his life in an auto crash last Monday, at Kobape, a few kilometres to Abeokuta, the state capital.There was anger on the faces of the mourners who came to pay their last respects to Fashina as they blamed government for pronouncing what they described as 'an unpopular' decision taken without due consultations.Fashina was among the Students Union Government executives who were on their way to Abeokuta to protest the merging of their school with the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), as announced by the state government on February 8.This development, according to the state Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mr. Segun Odubela; was done to salvage the dwindling fortune of the education sector in the state. Odubela had said that government's decision to rationalise the higher institutions which affected TASUED and the four ICT polytechnics was grossly misunderstood by students, noting that the policy had no negative consequences on their studies.He said further that the implementation of the policy would commence after the last set of students in TASUED would have completed their courses of study in the next four years.But the pronouncement had resulted in a series of protests among the students who were unlucky when one of the tyres of the 18-seater bus conveying them got burst while the vehicle somersaulted several times last Monday.The students were on their way to Abeokuta to further appeal to the state governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun; the state Chief Judge, Justice Olatokunbo Olopade and stakeholders in the education industry on why the state government should rescind its decision over the matter, when the unfortunate incident occurred.Some of the students, including Fashina, were rushed to the emergency unit of the Federal Medical Centre, Idi- Aba, Abeokuta for treatment, but Nigerian Tribune gathered that Fashina was unlucky as he fell into coma and was unable to come out of it, despite frantic efforts by the medical team of the hospital to save his life.It was gathered that Fashina lost too much blood as a result of the accident and could not come back to life despite blood donations by his family members, staff of the university and other well-wishers in the battle to save his life.Some of his colleagues that sustained varying degrees of injuries were treated and discharged while Fashina was unlucky as he gave up the ghost at about 8:00 pm last Tuesday.The Director of Health services of TASUED, Dr. Gbenga Okusanya, confirmed his death and said that the deceased would be buried at a public cemetery within Ijagun community rather than his remains being taken to his hometown, Badagry, Lagos State for burial.The news of his death spread like wild fire with the entire university community thrown into mourning as staff, students and residents of Ijagun community were seen in groups discussing the incident.Although, the institution's management did not officially declare last Wednesday, a lecture free day, the students did not attend their lectures as a mark of honour to their departed colleague.Some of the students who spoke with the Nigerian Tribune described Fashina as an easy-going, unassuming and hardworking student.A close friend of the deceased, Adeleke Babatunde, described his late friend as a very gentle man who could not hurt a fly, adding that Fashina was a special breed that would be sorely missed by all those that had come in contact with him.His younger brother, Olanrewaju Fashina, a stylist, described him as 'hardworking and compassionate'. His parents, Mr and Mrs Fashina, were present at the Ijagun Community Cemetery to witness the burial of their 25 year old son, as his remains were lowered at exactly 2.45pm after a short service.The institution's vice chancellor, Professor Segun Awonusi, led other members of the university community to the burial.Late Fashina hailed from Topo in Badagry and lived in Ajegunle, Lagos State before gaining admission into TASUED.He was one of the best students in his class, who would have graduated with second class honour (Upper division) and was his class governor.He was at a time the President of Rotaract Club, TASUED branch and until his death the Special Adviser on Logistics and Strategy Planning to the Public Relations Officer of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and also the Secretary, Social Work and Community Development Association, TASUED branch.Although, Fashina lived a short life, it was the submission of those who paid him their last respects that he lived an eventful and impactful life.
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