UI student killed in factory accident buried amidst tears
• Oyo NLC Chair Decries Exploitation Of Workers By Foreign Companies
• State Begins Investigation, Says Family Will Be Compensated
Tears and wailing rent the air as the remains of student of University of Ibadan, Richard Gbadebo were yesterday committed to mother earth at Sango Cemetery, Sango, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
The 21-year-old, who was a 300-level student of the Department of European Studies died on Monday July 27,2020 while operating a machine at soap-making factory, Expand Global Industries Limited, Oluyole, Ibadan. He was laid to rest around 1:30 p.m. in a white casket.
The burial was witnessed by family members, members of the human rights community, labour movement and staff of company where the deceased was working. His siblings, including Adesewa were reduced to tears, and couldn’t even speak to journalists who wanted to interview them. Pastor Theophilus Obafemi of Victorious Life In Jesus, Apata, Ibadan conducted the burial.
Speaking, state chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Kayode Martins decried the exploitation of Nigerian workers by foreign companies. “Government should checkmate these foreigners and let them realize that the lives of workers are important”.
Meanwhile, the state government has declared that it has commenced investigations into the circumstances surrounding the death of Gbadebo. Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Bashir Olanrewaju, disclosed this when he led a delegation on a condolence visit to the residence of the bereaved. The state government began a safety audit of the factory and would ensure that necessary sanctions are meted out on the company upon completion of investigations.
Father of the deceased, Shola Gbadebo demanded for the CCTV footage of the scene where his son died, noting that a thorough investigation must be conducted in order to truly ascertain the cause of his death, insisting that before any attempt to initiate talks with them by management of the factory, the family must be assured that there was no foul play in his death.
Gbadebo expressed grief over Richard’s demise, noting that he had suffered just to ensure his children concluded their university education before the unfortunate incident. “My appeal is that the government should compel the company to show its CCTV footage so that the whole world will see how my son died,” Gbadebo said.
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