Two undergraduate students of the Federal University of Technology - Akure (FUTA) in Ondo State were pronounced dead after they drowned in a pond on the campus on Saturday.
The students were returning from their entrepreneurship training when the double tragedy occurred at a fishpond on the institution’s second campus in Obakekere.
The deceased are Emmanuel Olabiyi from the Agricultural and Environmental Engineering department and Alex ‘Tunde Olokun of the Project Management Technology department.
The two undergraduate students had in the early hours of Saturday visited the Laboratory of Fishery and Aquaculture for their entrepreneurship training before drowning.
SaharaReporters gathered that the Centre for Entrepreneurship Technology (CENT) of the institution is a training program mandated as a core course for all 300-level undergraduate students at FUTA. Students attended an orientation for the CENT training program on June 9 and were instructed to return on June 23 and begin their training sessions.
The two deceased students were returning from their respective training exercises before drowning.
‘Yinka Olaseinde, president of the Students Union Government (SUG) of FUTA, confirmed the tragic news to SaharaReporters, explaining how the students drowned.
“Four of them [students] decided to take a selfie [photo shot with phone] while riding on a canoe. During that process, the canoe capsized and suddenly they fell into the pond.
“Two out of the students who could swim narrowly escaped out of the pond but others [Olabiyi and Olokun] were unable to find a way out – so, they sank and their corpses were brought out,” Mr. Olaseinde said.
He described the death of the two students as a great loss to the entire university community, especially the departmental colleagues of the duo.
A student who pleaded anonymity told our correspondent that the late Emmanuel Olabiyi was the welfare director of the department of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering.
“He won the election as the welfare director a few days ago but we never knew he was bidding us farewell after celebrating the victory for us inside the laboratory,” he said.
A source in the management cadre of the institution hinted that the university’s new Vice Chancellor, Joseph Adeola Fuwape, had been briefed about the incident, adding that a panel could be set up to investigate the incident.