Five people, including three food vendors, a teacher and a pupil, were hit by a thunderbolt in Ejila Awori Community High School, Ipatira, in the Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the incident happened around 12pm while activities in the school were still on.
He said, “The incident happened last week Wednesday. I was in my office with the executive of the Parent-Teacher-Association. We were having a meeting.
“While the meeting was on, it began to rain heavily around 11.30am. About 45 minutes after the rain, it began to drizzle.
“Suddenly, a thunderbolt hit and it was so strong that it threw me off balance. The school generator was on, but after the thunderbolt, I asked one of the teachers to turn off the generator.”
He said the teacher, on getting outside saw the five victims, who were under a shade in the food vendors’ corner, on the floor.
The teacher was said to have raised the alarm.
The principal told our correspondent that he went out along with other people in the meeting and saw that the people were lying unconscious on the floor.
“They were all unconscious. It was a pathetic sight,” he added.
However, an hour after the incident, our correspondent learnt that the victims began to come round one by one, but the fruit vendor, Mrs. Felicia Fagbayi, 50, did not wake up.
PUNCH Metro learnt that some Sango (god of thunder) worshippers were invited to the scene of the incident by the people of the community.
The devotees, after making some consultations, were said to have set up a shrine around the site where the victim died.
A source said they demanded the payment of N500,000.
The source said, “The community called in the Sango worshippers and they asked for N500,000. They set up a shrine and forbade people from moving near the place. Their leader said he would need to call his superior. When he came, he gave the community a long list of materials for rituals.
“The school management ordered the pupils to go home until further notice to avoid further tragedy.”
Our correspondent learnt that the corpse was not evacuated from the scene until 7pm on Thursday, more than 24 hours after the woman died.
The relatives of the victim were said to have taken the corpse away for burial.
The husband of the victim, Sunday Fagbayi, said he was not at home at the time of the incident, adding that his late wife was not a victim of any spiritual attack.
He said, “I was told that out of the five people that were hit, my wife was the only one that died. I don’t believe it was because she had offended anyone that she died.
“I believe it was fear that killed my wife. She was afraid and that was why she died. She was a very religious person.”
The Councillor representing the area in the LGA, Makinde Samson, said the incident was unprecedented in the community.
He said, “Usually, when somebody is struck down by thunder, the belief is that the person may have stolen something and if that is the case, the stolen items will be placed on the victim’s chest. But that did not happen in this case. Those that we invited told us it was coincidental because there was no mark on the woman.”
He said the LGA chairman had been informed of the development.
The Ogun State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, John Odubela, when contacted, confirmed the incident.
He said, “It is sad and unfortunate. One person died in the incident.”
The police spokesperson, Muyiwa Adejobi, said, “The truth is that when such an incident happen, people prefer to keep it away from the police. The command is not aware; it is strange to us.”
Source: The Punch