The quick action of the Lagos State University (LASU) Students’ Union went a long way to save a student of the university, Esther Kuti, from losing her limbs in an accident early this month.
SAMPSON UNAMKA reports on their effort
Students’ Union (SU) leaders are usually in the news for ALUTA issues. They are more likely to be seen agitating for one thing or the other that may result to protests which, sometimes, turn violent leading to destruction of property, school closures, arrests, injuries or death.
However SU also do good deeds and this story is about a good deed by the Students’ Union of the Lagos State University (LASU).
Thanks to the quick action of the LASU Students’ Union (LASUSU) Executive, Esther Ibukunoluwa Kuti, a student of the university, can think of walking again.
The 300-Level English Education student will be forever grateful to the SU leaders for coming through for her after she got hit by a vehicle: it raised funds for her surgery in three days.
The unfortunate incident happened on July 6. When Esther left her home to her sister’s place in Oyingbo in the heart of Lagos Mainland Local Government, little did she know it would not be a normal journey.
Her recollection of the incident is hazy. When CampusLife asked about it, she said: “I don’t want to recall it. Anytime I try to, I get a headache so I do not want to think about it.”
However, she recalled enough to say that she stopped over around Abiola Gardens in Alausa, Ikeja, to drop some items for someone then got hit by a Lexus Jeep while trying to cross the express road to continue her journey.
She could not remember how she was rescued but learnt she was taken from the accident scene to the Accident and Emergency Trauma Centre at Toll Gate before being referred to the GeneraI Hospital, Odan, Lagos Island.
The accident affected Esther’s legs. She had serious injuries on her left leg, but it was not as bad as her right leg which needed to be operated upon.
With a pensioner father taking care of her and her siblings, the N500,000 needed for the surgery was not readily available. Esther said her roommate’s cry for help on her behalf brought the situation to light and caught the attention of LASUSU leaders.
“I didn’t know how the news spread; I just saw calls coming in. My roommate posted the pictures first,” she said.
Speaking on LASUSU’s role, its Public Relations Officer, Zeenab Adams, said it took the union three days to raise over N300,000 for Esther’s surgery once they learnt of her predicament.
She said they took their fundraising campaign to various social media platforms like WhatsApp, Twitter and Instagram and got responses from members of the university community as well as outsiders.
The 300-Level Law student said: “On July 7, it came to my notice that Esther Kuti was involved in a car accident.
So, immediately I was aware, I placed a call to her to ask her some questions which she answered; and she told me they needed N300,000 for the leg surgery.
But you know after the N300,000, they will need more funds so I called out for N500,000 fundraiser to assist her. To raise the money, we made a lot of graphics and made use of all our social media platforms.
“I started sending messages to people I know in the capacity to assist her, including some of the members of LASU management team; and they assisted.
Some donated N500, some N1,000 and now we are happy the money was complete. She has done the surgery and she is back hale and hearty. She said the leg is fine now but she can’t walk yet.”
Adams said she did not know Kuti before her accident but that the SU Exco acted because she was a student of the university and would do so for other students.
“Kuti and I do not have any relationship. If students reach out to us to assist them in this regard we will do that. Right now, we have a mother to one of our students; she has kidney disease. We are trying to source money for her also,” she said.
LASUSU President Abdulbasit Ashade said the backing of the Students’ Union helped Esther get the funds she needed on time.
He said: “When I got the information from the PRO that one of our students had an accident and she was in a critical condition.
I immediately organised a virtual meeting with my executive members where we all deliberated on the way forward to assist Esther.
As we all know, the student union government is saddled with the responsibility to protect and promote the interest of students both on an off campus, so it is our duty to stand up whenever one of our students is in need of any assistance we can render.
“So, the issue of Esther is not the first we will be treating. We have had lots of issues like that because we believe an injury to one is an injury to all.
And secondly we know that if Esther on her own should solicit for funds from people they will barely give her the needed attention, but using the name and image of the Students Union, everyone will definitely want to reckon with the union or anything that has to do with student unionism.”
When she had to go in for the surgery, Esther said she had no fears about the outcome. She credited that to the massive support of family and friends.
“Actually, I was rest assured. I had a lot of people giving me confidence, most especially my boyfriend, roomie and few others.
I wanted so badly to live for them despite the pains. After the surgery, I was very much relieved of my pains, I could lift up my leg unlike before the surgery,” she said.
Now that the surgery is behind her, Esther is looking forward to getting back to shape. She, however, needs to give herself time to heal.
“I can move my leg, but I cannot walk yet. The doctors said I should not stress it,” she said.
Asked what would have happened if LASU SU had not come to her rescue, she said “Ahh! May be I could have survived by God’s grace alone”
Praising LASUSU for coming to Esther’s aid, the Coordinator, Centre for Information, Press and Public Relations, LASU, Mr. Ademola Adekoya, said they deserved commendation.
“The initiative is by the students. It is their way of contributing to the society; rendering help to their own. It is laudable. If they can do this at this level, they will do even more when they get to the bigger society,” he said.