By Rotimi Agboluaje
Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has ordered the suspension of the ongoing capacity building workshop for members of the state’s School Governing Boards in honour of the four participants and a commercial bus driver who died in an accident on Oyo-Ogbomoso Road, on Wednesday.
The Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Adeniyi Olowofela, conveyed the governor’s directive, in a statement, on Sunday.
The deceased, three of whom were secondary school principals, an account officer and the driver of a commercial bus conveying them, died in the accident, while six others who sustained injuries are receiving treatment at the Bowen University Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso.
They were returning to Ogbomoso after a workshop organised for members of the SGB by Centre for Organisational and Professional Ethics (COPE), in conjunction with the state ministry of education, science and technology, in Oyo township, when the incident occurred.
Following the governor’s directive, the commissioner said that the training scheduled for Ibarapa/Kajola and Saki/Irepo Zones earlier scheduled for January 25 and 26, had been suspended until further notice.
Besides, Olowofela, who had earlier led a delegation of top government officials on a condolence visit to the families of the deceased, said that government would foot the hospital bill of those still under admission.
While expressing regret over the incident, which he described as unfortunate and shocking, the commissioner condoled with the families of the deceased on behalf of the governor and the government. He prayed for the repose of their souls.
He, however, cautioned against politicisation of the sad incident which, he said, called for sobriety and sympathy with the deceased families and the education community in the state.
Olowofela said: “This is not the time to whip up unnecessary sentiment, which will not help the situation on ground. Accidents are natural phenomena that occur even in homes and even within the townships.
“Oyo State Government is sensitive to the welfare and well-being of its workers and the citizens in general. Hence, the workshop was spread across five centres in line with the zonal standing of the state.”
According to him, the same programme had earlier been held successfully at the Ibadan city and Ibadan less city centres where participants from contiguous locations had converged, without recording any incident.
Olowofela added that it was when the ‘patriots and dedicated’ governing board members were coming from the Oyo/Ogbomoso centre at Olivet Baptist High School, Oyo, that they were involved in the painful accident.
The commissioner said: “It is in the memory of the deceased that the governor ordered that we should suspend the workshop scheduled for Ibarapa/Kajola and Saki/Irepo centres till further notice.
“These heroes and heroine died in the line of duty and therefore, should be allowed to rest in peace. On behalf of the governor and the government of Oyo State, we had immediately visited the families of the deceased as well as those injured and recuperating at the hospital.”