Tunde Olaniyan, an Ordinary National Diploma, OND student of the Lagos State Polytechnic , can be described as the proverbial cat with nine lives owing to his recent narrow escape from a suicidal act. The 21-year-old Accountancy student who concluded to end it all by drinking a poisonous substance last month , left a suicide note for his parents, notifying them of his action. Reason? His school fees which his family struggled to gather was stolen by suspected pickpockets, while on his way to school penultimate Tuesday, an act he concluded had dashed his hope of furthering his education .
Confusion set in for the undergraduate who upon arriving school , decided to bring the N45,000 which he neatly wrapped in a piece of paper out of his nap sack, only to discover that the bag was torn by the side, from where the money was tactically stolen. Calling his parents was the last thing on his mind . Rather, the dark-skinned student walked absent-mindedly out of the classroom, down to a church in Isolo area of Lagos where he sleeps at night.
Crime Guard investigation revealed that the Olanyan family struggle for survival, like several other Nigerians out there, began after its bread winner , Amos Olaniyan, was verbally suspended from the Nigeria Police same year Tunde was born, by the Police Commissioner in Oyo state, Abubakar Tsav, over alleged bribery and corruption . Although report had it that the Senate had on December 15 , 2016, directed his reinstatement , after a due investigation which exonerated Amos from the allegation, till date, Police authorities are yet to adhere to the directive.
Since his suspension as a Sergeant, Amos Olaniya has been engaged in all manner of menial jobs in a bid to eke out a living for his family. He is at the moment a driver in Ibadan, Oyo state, from where he visits his family in Lagos. It was further gathered that Amos’s monthly salary and proceeds from his wife’s trade was put together to make up the N45,000 needed for their son’s school fees.
In this interview with Crime Guard, the undergraduate lamented : “ Things have not been easy for my family. I grew up with the hope of going to the higher institution and thereafter work with the certificate, instead of taking to dubious ways of making it. So, my admission letter into LASPOTECH to study accountancy came as an answered prayer to my dream. But fate has been so unkind to me, as each time I bore the hardship, I face more challenges.
“My parents managed to give me between N800 and N1000 from Iyana- Ipaja to Isolo as pocket money for one week. Out of it is my transport fare to and fro . To complement what they gave me, I resorted to working as a bus conductor. We plied Iyana-Ipaja to Yaba . I woke up as early as 5am , worked until 10am and thereafter go to school. I was earning N700 and N1000 daily, depending on the number of turns we run .
“But I was forced to stop in my OND 1 second semester, when it started having a negative effect on my academic performance, as I sometimes missed classes and didn’t have much time to read. I had no choice than to depend on my parents who were barely struggling to survive. My mother is a petty trader while my father is a driver. “They struggled to raise N45,000 for my OND 2 school fees in January. I left home that fateful day with the hope of paying the money into the bank when I got to school. But to my dismay, I discovered that the money had disappeared. Where do I get such amount was the first question that popped into my head. Quickly, I put a call across to my uncle in Maiduguri but it was not going through. I tried him all week to no avail. Thought of how to pay the
The thought of how to pay the money enveloped my mind every time I slept in the church which served as a home to me because I could not afford to rent an apartment like other fortunate students. I could not call my parents to tell them in order not to add to their burden. I could not call my older siblings either because they all have their respective challenges”, he said. Bottled with the inability to unravel a solution to the missing money, Tunde managed to finish his first-semester examination with an expression of uncertainty and hopelessness.
He managed to hold on until the second semester in March. But reached across road two weeks to the examination on May 25, 2016, owing to his inability to print out his course forms online. “I could not print out my course forms because I had not paid the fees. At that moment I became confused and went home with a decision to end it all. That morning, after my mother had gone to the market, with my father away in Ibadan where he works as a driver, I went to buy GO 90, an insecticide from a kiosk, for N50.
“Thereafter, I scribbled a suicide note informing my parents the reason I had to take my life. I dropped the letter and drank the liquid substance while I waited for death to come. About five minutes later, the first sign of death came with a sharp pain in my abdomen. Then, the whole apartment began to spin. That was all I could remember as I passed out.”
Sister to his rescue
While he was writhing in pains on the bare floor, his immediate elder sister , whom Crime Guard gathered was married with two children but had to move to her parents one room apartment at Fagbayi street , after she was delivered of a baby , walked inside. Tension heightened when she discovered that Tunde was motionless. On further observation, she discovered the suicide note close to him and immediately let out a squeaky noise which alerted neighbours who rushed Tunde to Omoju hospital in Baruwa area of Ipaja, Lagos , where doctors battled to revive him hours later . Crime Guard gathered that family members and friends contributed towards payment of the lost school fees.
Needs N7500 to conclude project
Though he has concluded his second-semester examination but financial difficulty still stares him in the eye and until that is attended to, he might not conclude his OND course. According to him “ I am in chapter two of my project work but I can’t continue because of lack of cash. I need at least N7.500 for typing, printing, photocopying and binding. I hope to look for a job with the OND and later further my study”, he stated in an emotion- laden tone.