Seven days mourning has been declared by the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, for the three journalists who lost their lives in an auto crash on Friday evening.
The national president of the NUJ, Garba Mohammed, who addressed journalists in Osogbo, said the accident occurred at about 7p.m. on Friday evening, when one of the rear tyres of the bus that conveyed the journalists burst along the Ilesa-Ile-IfeHighway, resulting in several somersaults.
Thirteen journalists in all were said to be returning from Abuja after a meeting of the union.
Among the dead are Kafayat Odunsi of Nigerian Television Authority, NTA; Adolphus Okonkwo of Voice of Nigeria, VON andTunde Oluwanike of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, FRCN.
The remaining ten other journalists sustained injuries in various degrees and were immediately rushed to the Ladoke AkintolaUniversity Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, for treatment where the remains of the dead were also deposited.
Two of the wounded, whose conditions were critical have been transferred to Ibadan for treatment.
In his address on Saturday, the NUJ President directed that all activities of the union at the chapel, state and national levels be suspended throughout the mourning period and that condolence registers be opened in all the states and at the national headquarters.
Mohammed condoled with the families of the deceased and members of NUJ. He reiterated the need for national insurance scheme for every journalist, saying the nature of the job required a comprehensive insurance for practitioners.
The NUJ president in company of the Osun State NUJ chairman,Abiodun Olalere, the national vice-chairman, South west, DeleAtunbi; and the Osun State commissioner for information, SundayAkere, visited the injured at the hospital.
Meanwhile, the Osun chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, commiserated with the NUJ over the death of three journalists.
The state’s PDP chairman, Gani Olaoluwa, said in a statement inOsogbo that “the untimely death of the professionals was a great loss to the NUJ family and the country at large.”
Also, the Kwara State governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, described the death of three journalists as unfortunate, shocking and devastating.