FORTUNATELY nobody died in a horrific road accident in Enga yesterday afternoon when a dump truck carrying 37 protesting students supporting their UPNG and Unitech colleagues smashed into a gorge.
Twelve students from Foursquare Secondary School and one student from St Paul’s Lutheran Secondary School in Wapenamanda are nursing injuries at Wabag General Hospital.
One with serious head injuries is now in stable condition.
They were among hundreds of students from Wapenamanda travelling to Wabag in four trucks to join students from Sir Tei Secondary School in calling upon prime minister Peter O’Neill to resign.
Students from Sir Tei Secondary School had wept openly on 8 June when they heard of the UPNG shootings before mobilising and marching into town only to be chased away by police.
The Sir Tei students then sought support from other students to organise a big rally in Wabag town yesterday. But the accident prevented the open forum from occurring.
“Our hearts ached to see injured UPNG students because some of them were our own school mates,” said one student. “Like them, we also see that there is no future for us.”
Some members of the public had not wanted a public forum because, in a recent confrontation involving police and UPNG students, destruction included Bank South Pacific, the only bank operating in Enga Province.
The forum did not eventuate but anti-O’Neill sentiment is building momentum in the province.
People are aware that the blood of innocent, unarmed young leaders of tomorrow who were exercising their democratic rights has been spilled.
It is feared that blood will continue to flow into the 2017 national elections.
Many people feel Peter O’Neill should step aside, submit himself to the rule of law and allow normalcy to prevail in the country leading to next year’s elections.
In an earlier accident, the deputy headmaster of Kandep High School died last week when a school truck carrying 60 students rolled several times at Winja village on the border of Enga and Southern Highlands provinces.
The truck, driven by the headmaster ,was fleeing from an accident. About 20 students were hospitalised at Mendi General Hospital. Traffic police from Wabag were investigating.