Oyo state government has expressed sadness over the death of members of National Union of Teachers in the state in an accident that occurred on Wednesday, January 24, 2018.
Dr. Bisi Akin-Alabi made this known in a statement circulated on social media on Thursday, mourning the death of three principals and an accountant in the state public secondary schools in a road crash.
No fewer than seven persons, who suffered varying degrees of injury, have also been hospitalised.
PUNCH had gathered that the victims were involved in the accident along the Oyo-Ogbomosho road around 5pm on Wednesday.
They were said to have attended a seminar organised by the state government in Oyo town and were returning to their respective destinations in Ogbomoso when a tanker rammed into a bus they were in.
It was learnt that the tanker driver veered onto the bus lane in an attempt to dodge a pothole but crashed into the bus.
The three principals, an account clerk, and the bus driver, whose identities had yet to be ascertained, died on the spot, while seven others who were injured, were rushed to the Bowen University Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso.
“Five persons, including three principals, an account clerk in one of the public secondary schools and the bus driver, died in the accident.
“I learnt that one of the deceased principals, Mr. Ogunremi, was supposed to retire in a few weeks’ time. They were returning from a workshop in Oyo town,” a source told PUNCH.
The Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress in the state, Waheed Olojede, who is also the secretary of the state chapter of the National Union of Teachers, confirmed the fatalities, adding that five others were critically injured.
He blamed the Oyo State Ministry of Education for directing 340 participants from schools in Ogbomoso to travel to Oyo town for the workshop, saying a centre should have been created in Ogbomoso considering the large number.
He said, “The entire labour movement under the aegis of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress and Joint Negotiating Council, led by Emmanuel Ogundiran and me, have visited the injured victims and families of the deceased.
“The NUT in the state received the news with rude shock. The NUT and labour movement are worried and disturbed about the wrong decision taken by the education ministry to compel 340 participants from 85 secondary schools in Ogbomoso to attend a workshop in Oyo town when simple reason and logic is supposed to have guided the ministry’s decision to create a centre in Ogbomoso for the workshop while the facilitators move there.
“Labour advises that the ministry and other government agencies should always consider the number of participants as a key factor in determining the venue for future workshops.”
The Oyo State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof Adeniyi Olowofela, told one of our correspondents that he led a delegation to the Bowen University Teaching Hospital and families of the victims as directed by the state Governor, Abiola Ajimobi.