by crossriverwatch admin
This is not the best moment for members of the Nigerian Union Of Journalists, Cross River state Chapter as five of its members escape death on Saturday while the Union bus was burnt to ashes.
The Union led by its Chairman, Comrade Ndoma Akpet, Secretary Nsa Gill and other senior members of the union were on their constitutional duty of monitoring and reporting the local government election when their Union bus caught fire.
Our findings reveal that the NUJ team started their journey from Calabar and went round the major local governments around the Southern Senatorial District before proceeding to the Central part of the state where the Governor and other key players in the elections exercised their franchise.
Pandemonium started when the Union Secretary who drove the bus suddenly saw flames coming out from right under the bus shortly after he had stopped for the occupants of the bus to ease themselves.
The incident was said to have occurred at about 12 midday along Ugep, Itigi/Aboumenge road near Igbo-Ekureku, the home town of the Chief of Staff to Governor Imoke.
It took the intervention of the passersby and other good spirited individuals to help the occupants and their belongings out of the bus as the bus exit door was said have malfunctioned and could not be opened. Everybody came out unhurt.
Eyewitnesses who were part of the rescue effort said it was by the grace of God that they were able to open the door and remove the occupants as thick flames had covered the bus.
This development is coming few days after the President of NUJ, Mallam Garba Muhammed urged members of the Union to take the union’s insurance policy seriously.
Garba while presenting Cheques of N500,000 each to the family of the three journalists, Kafayat Odunsi, Adolphus Okonkwo, and Tunde Oluwanike who died on August 2 while on an official trip from Abuja, urged journalists to always think of the hazards of journalism and other unforeseen circumstances and make sure their lives are insured.
Only Adolphus Okonkwo was insured and was paid N1,500,000 with an additional N500,000 that was given by the Union to families of all the victims.
Mallam Garba said the union under his watch would enforce the insurance policy for journalists through media owners and other stakeholders.
Speaking on the insurance policy, one of Cross River Executive member who was involved in the unfortunate incident said “We need to join the President in this campaign to enforce it through media owners at the State level. We are alive today by the grace of God and this could have been another thing”.
The Governor of the State is said to be aware.
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