The family of a Senior Secondary 2 student of Muslim Senior College, Oworonshoki, Lagos State, Nurudeen Arogundade, is gradually coming to terms with the reality that he might never be found again.
Nurudeen, 16, who was the last born of a family of seven went for the Eko Carnival last Monday and had not returned home.
His friends said Nurudeen was seen falling into the river under the Apongbon Bridge while trying to escape from a robbery attack on the bridge.
A source within the family said Nurudeen left his father’s residence at 9, Abeokuta Street, Palmgrove for the carnival in the afternoon in company with some of his friends and without his parents’ knowledge.
The source said, “Nurudeen sold his father’s property to raise enough money to spend at the carnival.
“Nurudeen’s friends told us that after they left the carnival, they were returning home through the Apongbon Bridge, when they sighted a robbery attack on the bridge.
“They said they panicked and fled to escape being attacked by the robbers.”
It was learnt that as everyone ran, Nurudeen’s leg got stuck in a manhole on the bridge which had been opened by the robbers to trap vehicles plying the bridge.
He was said to have called for help but as the stampede increased, he was trampled on and he eventually fell into the river through the manhole.
Nurudeen’s step mother, who craved anonymity, told Punch Metro, “When it was 10pm on Monday and we did not see him, we became worried.
“Alhaji (Nurudeen’s father) asked for him, but nobody could find him. The old man woke up in the night and checked the passage of the house- because that was where he normally slept whenever he committed an offence- but still could not find him.
“On Tuesday, some of his friends started whispering about the incident. We pressed them for information. That was how they broke the news to us.”
She said in the hope of seeing him, the family had visited hospitals and mortuaries in the state and bought 15 gallons of fuel for a search party to look for him along the waterways and shores in Apongbon.
Nurudeen’s father, Alhaji Lateef Arogundade, the Chief Imam of the area, told PUNCH Metro that he had given up hope, especially after visiting the manhole through which he was reported to have fallen into the river.
He said, “There is no way anybody could have fallen from that height even if there was no water beneath, and he would have survived it.
“In the course of our search, we found many other corpses but Nurudeen’s was not there. I wish the government would provide enough security personnel to watch over that part of Lagos.
“It’s a pity this has happened. Nurudeen was a very dear son to me because he was the most useful of all my children and he ran errands for me well” he said.
Nurudeen was said to have nursed the ambition of becoming an artist. His last facebook post on March 23 reads, “Lagos Carnival on my mind.”
The state police command spokesperson, Ngozi Braide, said since the incident was not reported at any police division, there was nothing that could be done about it.