Tue. Apr 16th, 2024

Colleagues of the late Olabode Olawuyi, a Veterinary Technologist in charge of the zoological garden of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, held memorial service in his honour on Monday.

Olawuyi was killed by a lion at the zoological garden on Monday, February 19, while trying to rescue a subordinate that was attacked by the animal.

At the memorial service organised by the National Association of Academic Technologists, attended by members of the family of the deceased, his colleagues, classmates, the leadership of unions on the OAU campus, and representatives of the management of the university, participants recalled Olawuyi’s heroic act.

They demanded preventive measures to forestall the recurrence of such incidents.

In his tributes at the event held on the campus of the university, the chairman of NAAT, OAU chapter, Mr. Matthew Oluwaniyi, said the management and the union failed to act despite repeated warnings by the deceased about the unsafe work environment.

Oluwaniyi said the deceased dedicated his life to the care of animals in the institution’s zoological garden, adding that “in a moment of unparalleled heroism, Olabode selflessly put his own life on the line to rescue a colleague who had fallen victim to the ferocity of a lion.

“His actions were not merely a fulfillment of duty; they were a testament to the very essence of humanity. With unwavering courage, he stood between danger and his fellow staff members, offering protection at the cost of his own life.

“Olabode’s bravery will forever be etched in our memories, a flame that burns eternal in the hearts of all who knew him. He was more than just an employee; he was the embodiment of dedication, compassion, and selflessness.

“Comrade Olabode, your death also comes with a whole bunch of lessons for us that shall keep unfolding. As a university, we have failed you as a union. We haven’t listened closely enough to your repeated warnings about unsafe work conditions most of the time when you visited the secretariat.

“We haven’t done enough to create the secure environment you deserved. But that ends today. As a united force, we vow: Never again will we allow any member to face such dangers. We will work tirelessly with the university administration, local and international organisations, and regulatory bodies to ensure every institutional resource is harnessed towards creating a safe and secure work environment for all.”

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