by Oge Okonkwo
Kafayat Odunsi, one of the three journalists who lost their lives in a car crash in Ilesha, Osun state, south-west Nigeria has been laid to rest.
The remains of Kafayat, who was untill her death, a staff of the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA 10, was brought by an ambulance with registration number OS 67 A30 belonging to the Osun State Health Management Board into the Federal Government-owned television station where a crowd had gathered to receive it at exactly 3.15pm.
An Islamic rite which lasted about 45 minutes was conducted on the corpse after which she was buried at the Oke-Suna Muslim Burial Ground, Lagos state, on Sunday evening.
PM News reports:
President of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ, Garba Mohammed, who was part of the crowd that received the corpse, expressed shock over the incident.
“It is a sad moment for us in the NUJ and the entire media family. God knows best in whatever happened,” he said while expressing commiserating with journalists in the country.
Mohammed also used the opportunity to reiterate the union’s stand on insurance for journalists.
According to him, journalism is bedevilled with many hazards and as such, every media practitioner is supposed to be insured.
“The NUJ insurance is very visible. We are currently going to media organisations to ensure that every journalist is insured,” he said.
Chairman of the Lagos Assembly Committee on Information, Publicity and Security, Olusegun Olulade, also urged the government to support the profession by ensuring that those establishing media houses must be ready to insure the journalists.
“Another is to take the issue of pension seriously.
“Death will come one day but that day is what we don’t know. So everyone is supposed to learn a lesson from this,” he said.
General Manager of the television station, Niyi Oyeleye, also supported Olulade saying journalism is a job with a lot of risk.
He urged that the insurance be taken seriously.
The three NUJ officials were part of a team that was returning from Abuja where they had attended a meeting of the union.
Reports say one of the tyres of the bus in which they were travelling burst causing the fatality.
Kafayat was the treasurer of the NTA 10 chapter of the union and covered the Lagos State House of Assembly for the television station before her death.
She was laid to rest at exactly 5.10pm amidst tears by friends and relatives.
Meanwhile, The Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital (LAUTECH), Osogbo in Osun has discharged all the journalists, injured in the auto-crash at Ilesha on 2 August.
The Chief Medical Director of LAUTECH, Prof. Femi Fadiora, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Osogbo that the nine journalists were now out of danger list.
Fadiora expressed optimism that one of the survivors, Mr Sylva Okereke, who was transferred to Lagos early on Saturday would survive if given adequate care.
“LAUTECH rose to the occasion to ensure that the wounded were given adequate care to stabilise them.
“Three were discharged on Saturday, while the remaining six who are now out of danger have also been released to join their families today,’’ Fadiora said.
A former National Officer of the NUJ, Mr Ayoade Adebayo, told NAN that the survivors were released to Mr Deji Elumoye, the Chairman of the Lagos State Council of the NUJ.
Adebayo said that Elumoye had also gone to Ilesa to convey the body of Kafayat Odunsi, a staff of the Nigerian Television Authority, who lost her life in the crash to Lagos.
He called on Nigerians to continue to pray for journalists, who by the nature of the job were always on the move.
The National President of the NUJ, Mr Garba Mohammed, at a news conference in Osogbo, declared seven-days mourning in honour of the three dead journalists.
The other journalists who died in the crash were Olatunde Ojenike of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Ibadan and Adolphus Okonkwo of the Voice of Nigeria.