There was confusion on Monday at the Lagos State University, Ojo, as nine undergraduates reportedly fainted and three others were injured during a scramble to enter the venue of a computer-based examination on the main campus of the institution.
Our correspondent gathered that some of the affected students were admitted to the school’s health centre, while those with severe cases were taken to the Alimosho General Hospital, Igando.
A video clip of the stampede, posted on the Internet by a student, showed some of the victims lying unconscious on the ground, as an ambulance and a motorcycle took away others for treatment.
The lady filming the scene could be heard lamenting the incident in the background, as she described LASU as the “most unorganised” institution in Nigeria.
“If you look very well at the floor, look at blood. Students, blood on the floor,” she said.
Our correspondent gathered that the students were about to sit the GNS 102 examination, a general study course, at the varsity’s new ICT centre near the Faculty of Management Sciences when the incident took place.
A student, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told our correspondent that 12 students were affected, adding that the door to the exam centre was damaged.
He said, “Nine students fainted and three were injured. The Vice-Chancellor of the university also visited the scene of the stampede to see things for himself. The entrance to the venue was almost pulled down in the struggle to enter the centre.
“LASU has more than five ICT centres, but the venue for the examination was newly built. Since the beginning of the second semester examinations, the school has concentrated on this particular centre, leaving the others.
“The GNS exam is for 100 level students, who are over 3,000 in number. Imagine over more than 3,000 students jostling to use a facility built to accommodate 500 students.
“Although the students were allotted different times for the examination, the time frame was not enough to cover everybody. So, all of them came prepared this morning. The rush to get a space led to a stampede and some of the students were trampled upon.”
The spokesperson for LASU, Ademola Adekoya, explained that the stampede was caused by a communication gap between the organisers of the examination and the students.
He noted that the video clip in circulation was not a true reflection of what happened, adding that only few students were affected.
He said, “Some of the students were scheduled to come tomorrow (Tuesday) and not today for the examination. Unfortunately, many of them scrambled because this paper was supposed to be the last paper for 100 level students.
“We normally fix the exam on different days and different hours. Those that were supposed to write today were scheduled begin at 8am and stop at 2pm. And the others were scheduled for tomorrow. Those who were supposed to come tomorrow, came today and unfortunately, there was a stampede.
“Also, the CBT2 is a new computer centre that was built to accommodate 500 students. A lot of them had yet to have a feel of that place. So, it could also be that they wanted to have a feel of the new CBT centre because it is one of the best in Nigeria. Unfortunately, on our own, we also did not manage it well.”
He said the examination had been rescheduled to take place between Wednesday and Thursday.
“Nearly all of the injured students have been discharged as we speak. Everything is under control; we don’t have any serious issues in our hands,” he added.