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21-Year-Old NYSC Member, Temitope Lamina Die In Car Accident On Her Way Back To Her State of Service

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A mass communications graduate from university of Benin,  Temitope Lamina Died on her way reporting back to NYSC camp in Sokoto, she is also a TV presenter and had her internship with AIT and TVC Lagos. her friends and family have been pouring our eulogy on twitter to her, Sad shes gone so early!
Grief is one most unwelcome visitor in any household especially when it comes as a result of loss of a beloved family member. That is the lot of the Laminas whose Ijoko Ota, Ogun state home is enveloped in tears following the demise of their 21-year-old daughter, Temitope, in a traffic accident on the Kaduna -Sokoto Highway recently.
Temitope Lamina was on her way back to Sokoto where she was undergoing the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme when she met her untimely death. She had visited Lagos to see her mother, Morikat, who successfully concluded the pilgrimage to Mecca. Mr. Lateef Lamina has not ceased crying since his daughter’s departure. He drove her to the motor park that fateful Sunday morning.” I still vividly recall the last time I saw her. She was returning to her post in Sokoto.I took her to Iddo (Lagos) Park.
I remember looking at the vehicle (Toyota Sienna) that she boarded. For reasons I could not understand, I felt uneasy. I asked one of the conductors at the park if he was sure the Sienna wouldn’t be involved in a crash on the way. I bid her farewell,” the father said.
When Lamina last got in touch with his daughter, it was 11.30pm and she was still in Kaduna dropped off by the same driver who had given assurance that the vehicle was travelling to Sokoto. Left to her fate, Temitope stood on the road until she found a Golf car that was heading to the seat of the Caliphate. Unfortunately, she did not make it.
The car was crushed by a heavy duty vehicle. Lamina could not hold back tears anymore. “The Sienna driver told us he was travelling to Sokoto. I begged him to drive carefully to avoid accident,” he added. By 4.30am, father received a call announcing his daughter’s death. The body was already in the morgue, according to the caller.
The shock of Temitope’s death has now turned to a burden. Right from the day she was posted to Sokoto, her father cried to family and friends that he was not comfortable especially with all the stories of insurgency from the North. Lamina sought help from anyone, just anyone who could convince the NYSC to get the young woman out of that region. He found none.
Lamina was not asking for too much, he was just playing his role as a concerned father. He also has another daughter, Khadija, serving in Kebbi. He wondered why his children should be so unlucky to be posted to the troubled part of our country, far away from home. Today, he is a sad man having lost one and unable to live with the thought that another is still up there.
What an irony that a family that gathered to celebrate their matriach’s safe return from Saudi Arabia is now mourning one of their own. It was for the simple reason of seeing her mom that the NYSC member excused herself from duty. Temitope was restless as she read about the stampede in Mina and the casualty figures.
She prayed all along for her mother. When mother and daughter embraced themselves,they were all tears. Tears of joy have now become tears of sorrow. Temitope, a Mass Communications graduate of the University of Benin, was attached to the state owned Rima Television, Sokoto.
She was so popular that even friends who met her during her days of internship at Africa Independent Television (AIT) and Television Continental (TVC) have not stopped weeping. This is yet another loss that will send parents thinking twice about the relevance of the NYSC.
Hundreds of families and friends have been thrown into mourning by these avoidable deaths. In 2008, the trio of Oluseyi Odusole, Oluwatosin Akinjogbin and Olalekan Akinde lost their lives in Jos to fanatics. In 2011, just as Dr. Goodluck Jonathan was gaining the upper hand over Gen. Muhammadu Buhari in the presidential elections, a rabid mob descended on NYSC members of non Hausa/Fulani extraction.
At the end, 10 young men and a woman lay dead. The three geo-political zones in the South had lost their children, including Mrs. Agnes Ezennaedozie. Kogi State in the North Central lost Akonyi Ibrahim Sule. Osun State was badly hit. Olawale Teidi, Ayotunde Gbenjo and Jehleel Adeniji died serving Nigeria.
Perhaps, time has come for President Buhari to buy into the plan by the NYSC to make participation optional. The scheme may not have outlived it’s usefulness, it has grown so large that even the government that set it up cannot manage it effectively.
There are now three batches of orientation, a deviation from the original concept. We cannot continue to shout one Nigeria while our bright ones are sent to their early graves. Temitope was on her way to Sokoto. She was abandoned in Kaduna. She could have been afraid of insurgents, that was why she did not stay behind at the park to continue her journey the next day.
Many before her perished on the road, serving their fatherland. We must stop this unnecessary bloodletting. This is yet another painful death and we are so sure that the best that could come from the same federal government is in the realm of condolence message and a small NYSC delegation.
Beyond that, government should grant Mr. Lamina his prayer of reposting Khalifa to the South. May the souls of those who died serving Nigeria rest in peace.

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