A fatal accident which occurred in Akwanga, Nasarawa state, yesterday, claimed the lives of three persons including a professor of Theatre Arts, Benue state university, BSU, Mrs. Regina Odeh, a one time Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU Chairperson, BSU Chapter.
DAILY POST gathered that the late Professor of Theater Arts was enroute Makurdi, Benue state capital, from the Federal Capital Territory, where she had attended an Inaugural lecture.
Her car, a Toyota Camry was said to have collided with another car along the Akwanga- Makurdi highway.
DAILY POST gathered that her driver and a woman whose identity could not immediately be ascertained were burnt beyond recognition. It was equally gathered that an unidentified man, believed to be in his late-thirties narrowly survived and is currently being attended to at an undisclosed hospital.
A lecturer with the Theatre Arts Department, John Onah, in an exclusive chat with DAILY POST lamented the death of the late Professor whom he described as full of life. He said: “It came to us as a shock. News started filtering in like so unbelievably. The accident happened in her car. The car got burnt to ashes.
“It looks like we might not see any part of her because the only thing we can see from the pictures we got is the skeleton of the driver who was track-fixed on the seat and burnt.
“We could not see through to the back to see the other persons who were in the vehicle.” Onah added.
In his reaction, Dr. Ama Gowon Doki, a senior lecturer in the department, said: “Last night at about 6pm, we confirmed she was burnt to death in a fatal motor accident.
“She was en-route Makurdi from Abuja where she had attended an Inaugural lecture.
“I attended the lecture with her but I returned on Friday. She stayed back in Abuja because her family is in Abuja but on her return to Makurdi, she had a head on collision with another vehicle and the driver, including her, got burnt to death.
“Although, a certain guy she brought with her from Abuja to work on her building in Makurdi, survived,” Doki noted.
“The late Prof. was sitting behind, with another woman whose identity as at press time, could not be ascertained. Seriously, it got to us as a huge shock.
I was in Abuja with her on Thursday, only to get a report few days after that she is dead? It is devastating. Everyone is in shock.
“She was a very prominent person. She had run as the ASUU Chairperson twice and she was also a National Officer. She was a very lively and optimistic person; nobody could have expected her death.
“We are all downcast and confused at the moment. As I speak to you, they are driving the remains of her corpse back to Makurdi. The VC has discussed with a team of doctors and ambulance to bring her corpse from Akwanga, where the accident happened,” the senior lecturer said.
When asked how the Theatre Arts Department will receive and cope with the sad news, the Dr. said, “It’s a plight. Likely, she would have been pronounced a Professor in March. I think if you have a staff that has risen to that rank, that has worked so hard to get to that level, only for you to wake up to the news that she is dead, it is something any other person would be confused and devastated over.
“So the Department definitely is not happy about this. Between 2013 and now, this is the third staff we have lost. So it is not a good thing for the department,” he added.
An ex-student of the department, who studied under her, Dapo Thomas, in a chat with DAILY POST expressed shock over the death.
Thomas said, “Honestly I am not aware. That is so sad. I have not heard anything about it though.
On how he feels about her demise, he said, “Oh no, it’s very sad. That woman was a very nice woman.
“Her children are my friends. It is so sad to hear this. Administratively, I would say she was someone who was extremely good. She was a good organizer. She knew how to mobilize and impact. I think in the real sense of it, these are what I can really say about her.
“She indeed was a great motivator because during my stay in the department as a student, every time she came around, she always had something to boost our morale. It’s so sad, I am still in shock,” Thomas added.
View graphic image from the accident scene here: