The President of the Senate, Senator David Mark, has sent a message of condolence to the President and members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists over the death of three journalists in a fatal auto crash in Ilesa, Osun State at the weekend.
Senator Mark, in a condolence message to the President of the NUJ, Mallam Garba Mohammed, in Abuja, lamented that the journalists were cut down in their prime.
He said: ” I received with shock and sadness the death of your colleagues through a ghastly motor accident in Ilesa, Osun State. This is unfortunate. I share in this pain and earnestly identify with you in this moment of grief. Please accept my condolence on behalf of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
The president of the Senate regretted that the deceased journalists departed in a very painful way when their services were most needed to help propagate and strengthen our democracy.
He however urged journalists and all media practitioners not to be deterred by the twist of events but to be strengthened and uphold the virtues of patriotism and commitment to the ideals of nationhood, which their late colleagues stood for.
According to Mark: “The best way to immortalize your late colleagues is to constantly uphold the sanctity of truth, fairness and objectivity in your trade and contribute towards promoting good governance, rule of law and human rights.”
He told the bereaved families to take solace in the fact that the departed journalists died in active service and left positive footprints on the sand of time.
The National Coordinator of the Oodua People’s Congress, Otunba Gani Adams, has described as tragic and shocking the death of the three journalists.
Adams, in a condolence message, said the death of the journalists has robbed the nation of yet another set of young and patriotic Nigerians, whose contribution to nation building he described as unquantifiable.
“The death of these three journalists has no doubt robbed Nigeria of yet another set of young and vibrant sets of Nigerians who are willing to contribute to the growth of the country,” he said.
Describing their death as a sacrifice to the growth of journalism in Nigeria, Otunba Adams said: “Their death is without question a sacrifice to the growth of their profession. They died in the pursuit of a better welfare for their members. I am sure their names would never be forgotten.”
While praying for the repose of their souls, Adams urged media practitioners, both in the public and private sectors, to as a matter of urgency set up an insurance scheme that will take care of the practitioners of the profession, especially in situations like the death of the three journalists.
He prayed God to grant their families, colleagues and the media industry in general the fortitude to bear the loss.
The Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, Lagos State Chapter, has declared a seven-day mourning for the three officials of the Nigeria Union of Journalists who died in an accident on their way from Abuja after a meeting of the union. This is in keeping with the directives of the national office of the NUJ.
In a statement by the association, its chairman, Fred Edoreh, stated that Lagos SWAN is still shocked and saddened by the incident, declaring that it inflicted a deep cut in the heart of its members.
Edoreh said: “We are still shocked and saddened by the incident. Besides being colleagues at the NUJ, it is painful to imagine the effect on their families and to recognise that they died in active service of the union. It is like making the ultimate sacrifice. Adolphus Okonkwo was particularly close to us in Lagos SWAN. He was a great friend and motivator who was involved in virtually all our activities and projects, giving us support and advise. We will miss him dearly but we will take solace in the fact that God is able and will be merciful and gracious to console and comfort their families.”
On the seven days mourning, he instructed that members of Lagos SWAN should adorn black trousers or shirts and, where possible, members should wear black arm bands for the period.
He also explained that all official activities of the chapter, including press conferences, are to be suspended for the period.