by Isi Esene
It was a birthday celebration gone awry last Wednesday when Omodesola Olusoji, a student of the Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH) was bathed with a chemical substance while observing the traditional pouring of water on celebrants.
We understand it is an accepted practice among students in the institution to pour water on friends as part of the fun during birthday celebrations.
Reports say, Olusoji, a year one Business Administration student of the school was coming down the stairs of the PGD Hostel when the incident occurred.
Sources say one of her friends grabbed a keg containing the chemical substance and poured it on her purportedly mistaking it for water.
The 17-year-old Olusoji was said to have sustained severe burns to her face and chest and is presently receiving medical attention at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH).
A student who witnessed the incident said, “We actually learnt that her mother who is a senior lecturer in the school asked her not to come to school that day. But she lied to her that she had a test.
“I don’t think that malice was intended. The chemical the girl mistook for water was the one being used for the entrepreneurial development project,” he said.
Ngozi Braide, the Lagos State Police public relations officer confirmed the incident saying, “The DPO has reached out to the school’s chief security officer and the Students Affairs Unit to get the accused interrogated by the police for proper investigation of the matter but they have yet to do that.
“There is no official communication from the school authority to give us the reason behind that. The last time the DPO spoke with the CSO, he said the rector wanted to deal with the matter internally.”
The YABATECH public relations officer, Mr. Adekunle Adams spoke with reporters saying the school is doing everything it can to ensure Olusoji gets adequate medical attention.
“In all fairness, the incident was purely accidental. The suspect in the case had been reporting at the unit investigating the matter and she had been remorseful. She was even part of those who rushed her to the health centre.
“The college is waiting for the medical report to know what our level of commitment will be in helping her recover fully,” he stated.
It’s a birthday that she’ll never forget. Our hearts go out to her.