10 other journalists were injured in the accident.
The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has declared seven days mourning in honour of its three officials, who lost their lives in an auto crash on Friday evening.
The National President of the NUJ, Garba Mohammed, declared the mourning while addressing newsmen on the demise of the journalists in Osogbo on Saturday.
The lone accident occurred at about 7 p.m. on Friday evening along Ilesa-Ile-Ife Highway when the victims were returning from Abuja.
One of the rear tyres of the vehicle they were in burst, resulting in the bus somersaulting many times and landing in a bush.
Three of the 13 occupants, Kafayat Odunsi of Nigerian Television Authority, Adolphus Okonkwo of Voice of Nigeria and Tunde Oluwanike of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria died on the spot.
Ten 10 other journalists, who sustained injuries in the accident, were immediately rushed to Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, for treatment, where the remains of the dead were deposited.
Two of the wounded, whose conditions were critical, were transferred to Ibadan for treatment.
In his address on Saturday, the NUJ President, directed that all activities of the union at the chapels, state and national levels be suspended throughout the mourning period.
He directed that condolence registers be opened in all the states and at the national headquarters.
Mr. 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 the practitioners.
He commended the Osun State Government for its prompt response to the scene of the accident and its support to the victims.
Earlier, the NUJ president, in company of the Osun State NUJ Chairman, Abiodun Olalere; the National Vice-Chairman, South West, Dele Atunbi; and the Osun Commissioner for Information, Sunday Akere, visited the injured at the hospital.
Kwara governor, PDP mourn journalists
Meanwhile, many Nigerians have continued to mourn the dead journalists.
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 in Osogbo that “the untimely death of the professionals was a great loss to the NUJ family and the country at large.’’
The Osun PDP chairman said the accident was unfortunate, describing late Aldolphous Okonkwo of VON, whom he said he knew as a former secretary of Lagos NUJ before becoming Financial Secretary of the National NUJ, as a refined gentleman.
He commiserated with the FRCN Ibadan over the death of Tunde Oluwanike and NTA’s Kafayat Odunsi.
Mr. OlaOluwa prayed God to grant the NUJ and the family of the deceased the fortitude to bear the loss.
Also, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara on Saturday described the death of three journalists in an automobile accident on Ilesa-Ife road as unfortunate, shocking and devastating.
In a condolence message issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Abdulwahab Oba, in Ilorin, the governor said “the death of the journalists while pursuing enhanced welfare for their colleagues has yet denied Nigeria their services.’’
Mr. Ahmed described the late journalists as “vibrant Nigerians who could have made meaningful contributions to the national process of promoting freedom of speech and democratic values in the country through the pen.’’
The governor noted that the death of the journalists had again brought to the front burner the issue of insurance policies for working journalists in view of the hazardous nature of their vocation.
He, therefore, urged employers of journalists, whether in the private or public sector, to take a cue from the Kwara State Government and insure all journalists in their employment.
“It was in recognition of the place of journalists in national development that my administration paid the insurance premium of all journalists working in the state,” the governor said
He added that the government did the insurance irrespective of the journalists’ states of origin or the nature of their employment. He prayed God to give the family and the journalists’ fraternity the fortitude to bear the painful loss.
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