The mother of Barakat, a 24-year-old poly student, has said that her daughter knew she was going to die before she was crushed by a tanker when she was trying to pay a commercial bike (okada) man.
On Sunday, it was reported that a tanker that suffered a brake failure overran traders and others at Bode Market in the Molete area of Ibadan, Oyo State.
Barakat’s mother, Iya Ijesa, told the PUNCH that her daughter, who studied Mass Communications at Ibadan Polytechnic, knew she would die, and she hid it from her.
She said, “Barakat knew she was going and that was why she told a young child that usually visited her that she would travel. But she had no intention to travel anywhere except this journey of no return on Sunday.
“She was such a pleasant and hard-working girl. The traditionalists at Bode Market told us that we should not open the market for seven days because they foresaw a strange happening, and I complied. Barakat told me that she would go to the market to help me on that day and that I should stay at home.
“I was told she got to the market and was paying the motorcyclist who took her there when the truck hit her and the motorcyclist. Both of them died.”
Barakat’s brother, Adegoke Fajaye, said he was told that his sister had tried to avoid the tanker but was caught in a web of electric cables after the tanker knocked down a pole before veering into the market.
He said, “She just got to the market and was paying the okada rider who took her there when she looked back and saw the truck which had lost control. She was said to have been caught in the web of electric cables that fell after the tanker hit an electric pole before crushing everybody and everything on its path into the market.”
Some of the traders at the market who escaped the incident said traditionalists warned of an impending disaster and asked the traders to shut the market and perform some rituals to avert any danger.
One trader said, “During the annual celebration of herb sellers, there was an instruction that the market should be closed for seven days. But to our surprise, some elderly ones said they would not comply with the directive. The market leaders discovered that since some traders opposed the directive, it was better to make compliance optional. Some closed their shops, while others obeyed.”