– Folu Olamiti
As a journalist, the news of the ghastly accident involving members of the Nigerian Union of journalists, NUJ, in Ilesa, Osun State, some few days ago, hit me with shock and great regrets.
That the NUJ had the misfortune of losing some of its very active members again compounded my worries as I concluded that the occurrence of sudden death, either by road accidents, armed robbery attacks, assassinations and others has been getting too frequent. In my grief, I could only pray fervently that the Almighty God will in his infinite mercies intervene quickly to preserve the souls of all of us who are still dedicated to the pen profession.
My heart goes immediately to the bereaved families, friends and associates of the departed journalists while I shared in their grief and moments of sorrow. The incidence of their tragic death became more painful given their status as bread winners of their respective families and contributors to progress and growth of Nigeria as patriots.
I am of the view that the tragic road accident which claimed the lives of Mr Olatunde Ojenike of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Ibadan, Adolphus Okonkwo, Champion Newspapers, and Kafayat Odunsi of Nigeria Television Authority occurred at a time the NUJ members were fully dedicating their energies in pursuit of good standards for their profession and hence, a national cause. By all indications, all of them had made strong marks in Journalism given the greatest achievements ascribed to them. Because the journalists died gallantly in active service to their fatherland, I see them as heroes who deserve special honours.
I use this scope to express deep sympathy with the media organisations where the departed journalists served, just as I urge them to appreciate their past great contributions to the progress of the organisations by helping to mitigate the sorrows of their respective families in what ever form they may deem necessary.
For my colleagues who survived the auto crash, I pray for quickest recovery and fast healing of the wounds they had sustained. I appreciate God the Almighty that even in deep sorrow; He still gave us the chance to rejoice on the lives he had graciously spared.
I urge all our colleagues nationwide and well meaning Nigerians to unite in prayer for Mrs Fatimah Abdulkareem, National Treasurer, Nigeria Union of Journalists, (NUJ) and the Oyo State Chairman of the union, Mr. Gbenga Opadotun who are currently on hospital beds for God’s intervention for their early discharge to return to their families and the jobs they had dedicated their lives to.
The government of Oyo state, to me deserves commendation for promptly intervening by footing the hospital bills of the injured men and women of the pen profession. The gesture by the government of the state is an encouraging show of solidarity with NUJ and journalism profession which we must all appreciate.
Folu Olamiti, the Head of Media, ICPC wrote from Abuja