Members of the Nigerian Union of journalists, NUJ, has described the auto crash in Ilesa, Osun state, where three members of the union lost their lives as shocking and a great loss to the nation.
The dead journalists are Olatunde Ojenike of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Ibadan, Adolphus Okonkwo, Champion Newspapers, and Kafayat Odunsi of Nigeria Television Authority.
Ten others sustained injuries in the accident, which occurred near Ilesha in Osun, and are receiving treatment at Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital, Osogbo.
Fatimah Abdulkareem, National Treasurer, Nigeria Union of Journalists, (NUJ) and the Oyo State Chairman of the union, Mr. Gbenga Opadotun who were injured in the ghastly accident were later moved from Ladoke Akintola Teaching Hospital, Osogbo to University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan on the orders of Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State.
The Chief of Staff to the Oyo State Governor, Dr. Adeolu Akande and Oyo State Commissioner for Information, Pastor Taiwo Otegbeye pledged that the state government would foot the bill of the victims in UCH.
They described the incident as very pathetic stressing that the government has urged the management of UCH to try its best in ensuring that the two NUJ officials in their care are given the best treatment.
The journalists were returning to their bases from a national assignment of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), which held in Abuja on Thursday.
The National Secretary of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr Shuibu Leman, said: “it was a sad moment for the union and the nation as a whole.”
In his reaction, Chairman of NUJ, Abuja Council, Mr Chucks Ehirim, said, “it was indeed a great shock as the three late journalists were very alive and active on Thursday at a meeting of the union.
“We are all shocked by the incident. They were our colleagues and we were all together in the meeting till late on Thursday. It is unfortunate because they died in union activities.”
Meanwhile, Governor Rauf Aregbesola of the state of Osun has offered to pay the medical bills of 10 journalists injured in the accident. near Ilesha,incidentally, the governor’s hometown.
The Osun Chairman of NUJ, Mr Abiodun Olalere said the survivors were in stable conditions.
According to The News Agency of Nigeria, the accident occurred when the driver lost control after the tyre of the vehicle in which the journalists were travelling burst about 7p.m near Ilesha on the Ife-Ibadan Expressway.