Members of the National Union of Teachers in Oyo State are 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 Metro gathered that the victims were involved in the accident along the Oyo – Ogbomosho road around 5 pm 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 said .
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 .
“ We are just coming back from Ogbomoso . The governor directed that I should lead a delegation that included the chairman of the state Teaching Service Commission to commiserate with the families of the victims . The state government regrets this unfortunate incident and will defray the hospital bills of those who are still receiving treatment , ” he said .
The Oyo State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps , Cecilia Alao , confirmed the crash to one of our correspondents in a text message .
She stated that the accident resulted from dangerous overtaking and urged motorists to be safety conscious and comply with traffic regulations at all times .
Alao said , “A fatal road crash occurred on Wednesday , January 24 , 2018 along Oyo – Ogbomosho Road at 4 . 30 pm. Two vehicles – Mazda E 2000 bus , with number plate , XE 455 PFA, and an Iveco tanker with number plate , LKJ 790 XU, were involved in the crash which occurred as a result of dangerous overtaking .
“ A total of 15 passengers (11 male adults and four female adults ) were involved in the crash , while three male adults lost their lives. A total of 12 passengers ( eight male adults and four female adults ) were rescued alive and taken to the Bowen University Teaching Hospital for medical attention .