|Christiana’s school. Inset, ID card|
The family of a Senior Secondary School 3 female pupil of Muslim College Oworonsoki, Lagos, has been thrown into mourning after lightning struck and killed 19-year-old Celestina Farotide, who was about to start her final examination the same morning.
The victim’s father was said to be in shock and disbelief and had refused to show up to collect the corpse, saying, “It cannot be my daughter”.
The aunt of the deceased, Christiana Idowu, who described her as gentle, quiet and respectful said she saw her corpse in the hospital after the family received an emergency call from one of Celestina’s friends.
An eyewitness, who pleaded anonymity because she was not permitted to talk to journalists, said the incident occurred on Monday.
She said, “We had finished with the morning assembly, but some students were still coming in. Celestina had prepared her desk in readiness for the West Africa Senior Secondary Certificate Examination’s practical they were to have that morning.”
PUNCH Metro learnt that she later went to buy the food she would eat and when she was returning to her class in company with other students, tragedy struck.
The eyewitness said, “The lightning came in their direction and immediately three of the school girls fell down.
“Two of them rose up and ran and Celestina rose up too. Then the lightening struck the second time, and she (Celestine) fell finally on the floor and did not rise again.
‘She was immediately taken to the teachers’ staff room, where a teacher was asked to take her to the Gbagada General Hospital. It was there she was confirmed dead.”
The principal of the school was said to be away on a week-long conference in Makurdi when the incident happened but authorities of the school contacted Celestina’s grandmother at New Garage area of Lagos.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Education with her entourage were said to have visited the school on Tuesday morning.
A resident of the area, Mr. Kabiawu Babajide, who also claimed to be an alumnus of the school told our correspondent the lightning also wreaked havoc in the area.
The monarch of Oworonsoki land, Oba Bashir Oloruntodupefun, said the gods were angry because Oworosoki land had been desecrated by strangers and the government was taking over ancestral lands and selling them to non-indigenes.
He said, “It’s a pity the girl died. The circumstances surrounding her death are mysterious because the girl was never sick. From what happened, we can all see the gods are making demands.
“The shrines that should be used for sacrifices have been swept away in water. And the land we have is being sold by government officials to their friends and they send military men to threaten us.
“Government needs to give us our land back. The real Oworo is submerged in waters. We want them to help sand fill those places taken over by water because many cultural heritage has been lost. If this is done, evil will no longer occur.”
The Chairman of a community development association in the area, Chief Jelili Lawal, told PUNCH Metro that Celestina would be buried after necessary sacrifices and atonement had been made to appease the gods.
Culled from PUNCH