Three officials of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) died today in a road crash in Ilesa, Osun State, officials of the union told SaharaReporters.

They are: Adolphous Okonkwo, a former national financial secretary; Kafayat Odunsi, a journalist at the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) in Lagos; and Tunde Ojenike, chairman of Radio Nigeria and Ibadan Network Centre of the NUJ. They were returning to Lagos from a meeting they had in Abuja when the accident occurred.

The accident occurred at about 4pm as the sojourners approached Osu town.  A rear tyre of the official’s bus was said to have malfunctioned, and the speeding vehicle somersaulted several times before plunging into the forest.

Officials say there were several injuries.  The survivors were first taken to the Osun State General Hospital, Ilesa, but were referred to the Ladoke Akintola Teaching Hospital (LAUTECH), Osogbo where they are being treated in the emergency unit.

Gbenga Opadotun, the chairman of the Oyo State council of the NUJ who was also on the bus, confirmed details of the trip, and that a rear burst, causing the vehicle to veer off the road, somersaulting about eight to nine times before finally crashing into the bush.

"It was a terrible experience because we lost three of our members in the accident. The rest of us involved in the accident survived by the grace of God", he said.

The chairman of Lagos NUJ, Deji Elumoye, who was also in the crash, is said to be in critical condition.

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