By Chioma Onuegbu
Uyo—A 34-year-old pregnant mother of five, Mrs. Ekaette Akaninyene, of Nnonno, whose husband, a motorcyclist, was allegedly killed by a driver with Akwa Ibom State Transport Company, said she has not seen his corpse since April.
While recounting the hardship the death of her husband has brought on the young family, she said on the fateful day, her husband dropped her in the market but returned home to pick something, only “for my husband’s friend to come and asked me to follow him, that my husband had an accident.
“I was told that some ticket sellers were chasing an AKTC bus driver, who knocked down my husband, while attempting to flee.” “We were initially informed he was taken to TOAN office. When we got there, I was handed his torn shirt and wallet, but he was not there.
“We were later directed to a police station at Itam. When we got there, we were told that he was taken to the hospital and that we should wait for the DPO. We waited till the man finally arrived hours later and informed me that my husband was dead.
“I have not been allowed to see his corpse, but they told me that he was hit on the chest and forehead, and that he was taken to one mortuary along Atiku Abubakar Way.
“I don’t know how to start or continue my life from here, we were struggling together to care for these children. Now look at my condition, look at the hardship their reckless attitude is putting me and my children.”
On his part, the state chairman, Tricycle Owners Association of Nigeria, TOAN, Mr Effiong Effiong, said the deceased met his untimely death along Urua Ekpa Road while bending by the side of the road to fix a fault in his keke.
He recounted that the Compliance and Monitoring Task Team were chasing an AKTC driver, who in an attempt to flee knocked down the tricycle rider by the side of the road.
Effiong, who disclosed that his association has been liaising with the state Ministry of Transport and Petroleum to secure some assistance to the bereaved family, however, promised to push hard to ensure that the pregnant widow is well cared for.
The TOAN chairman assured that the AKTC bus driver had been arrested by the police and must be made to face the full weight of the law.
Contacted, Commissioner for Transport and Petroleum, Mr Orman Esin described what happened as an accident.
He said: “What happened was an accident involving a driver, members of our team and the victim. However, we have met with the bereaved family and we have discussed on how to assist the family and everyone is satisfied and happy.”