Pothole, the major cause of accident

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SIXTEEN cows died following a vehicular collision at “Moshalashi Bus Stop along Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway,” a report said. The cows were not supposed to die in that manner, but they did. No human life was lost, but human lives could have been lost.

The September 17 accident happened “around 6:30am” and involved “a fully loaded mass-carrier bus popularly called ‘molue’ and a lorry packed with 32 cows.”  According to the report, “The bus was heading to Oshodi area of Lagos State, while the lorry was heading to Abattoir when the accident happened… the drivers of both vehicles were trying to avoid a deep pothole at Moshalashi bus stop when the accident happened, triggering a traffic snarl for hours.”

How deep was the pothole reported to have caused the collision? How did the pothole cause the collision? An eye-witness was quoted as saying: “There is a big pothole here in Moshalashi bus stop. The lorry carrying the cows first partially hit the bus breaking some of its glass, all the passengers ran out of the bus and there was no loss of life. It was while the lorry driver was trying to prevent further falling on the bus and was trying to move out of the pothole that it fell and 16 of the cows died on the spot. The lorry driver fled the scene and was nowhere to be found.”

What is a cow’s life worth? The 16 cows that died were valued at over N5m by the owner of the lorry, Sulaimon Olarenwaju, who lamented that the police had towed his lorry to Alagabdo Police Station. “It was not as if the lorry driver intentionally caused the accident, the pothole caused it, I don’t know why my lorry is not released, they should please release my lorry and not ask me to pay for it,” he said.

Who or what is to blame for the accident and the death of the cows? The police seized the lorry, which suggests that the lorry driver is to blame. What about the pothole, the “deep” and “big” pothole?  The police are not thinking about the pothole, obviously. Who is supposed to ensure that there is no pothole at Moshalashi Bus Stop, or anywhere else? Who is thinking about potholes and the deaths they can cause, even if the dead in this case are cows? What if human lives had been lost?  Who should fix the pothole?