Sunday 24th of October was a tragic day in the city of Abeokuta in Ogun State, when a middle-aged man Oluwagbeminija Rhodes allegedly drowned in the popular Ogun River while trying to rescue his son, Gbeminiyi who was drowning.
The tragedy occurred when Rhodes, a bus driver, and the pioneer chairman of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta Shuttle Bus Association, took his bus for washing at the bank of the river at Lafenwa end.
Vanguard gathered that Gbeminiyi, the son of the deceased who accompanied him to wash his car, suddenly missed his steps and fell into the river while playing at the bank. This prompted his father to quickly jump into the river in a bid to save him.
According to an eye witness, Rhodes was unable to rescue his son, but drowned in the process while Gbeminiyi was later rescued by people living by the river bank. The son was later rushed to the hospital where he was revived.
However, the floating corps was later recovered by some fishermen when it surfaced at Oriyanrin area, which is about three kilometres from where the tragedy occurred the next day.
The current chairman of MAPOLY Shuttle Bus Association, Mr. Adedolapo Adekunle confirmed the incident and said they were unable to recover the corpse as soon as the incident occurred due to the fact that the river was full.
“We heard about the incident on Sunday and we consulted the fishermen and other experts immediately but they told us that the river was full and that they had to wait for the body to float the third day or make attempt if there was sufficient sun on Monday.
“Luckily yesterday (Monday), it was sunny and his body was later recovered at Oriyanrin. We later paid for some rituals before his body was released,” he said.
The remains of the deceased was later committed to mother-earth in his yet to be completed building in Ikolaba community, Olomoore, Abeokuta North Local Government Area.