Three Nigerian journalists have died in a road crash in Ilesa, in the state of Osun, in the western part of Nigeria, with their colleagues describing the tragedy as shocking and a great loss to the nation.The journalists were returning to their bases from a national assignment of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), which held in Abuja on Thursday.
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.
Among the injured are the chairmen of Oyo and Lagos state councils of NUJ, Gbenga Opadokun and Deji Elumoye respectively as well as Fatimah Abdulkareem, the National Treasurer.
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.’’
Leman said officials of the union were on their way to Osun to assess the situation.
The 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.