On Tuesday July 28, Gbadebo Richard, a 300 level student of the Department of European Studies (German), University of Ibadan, was found dead in the Ibadan factory of Henkel Nigeria Limited, producers of WAW detergent and soap where he worked.
The deceased reportedly was on a night shitf when he unknowingly slipped into one of the machines in the factory. He was only discovered when his co-workers noticed blood coming from a side of the machine.
At the onset, Richard’s family were not informed about his death by the company until an unknown number broke the sad news to them and not until after much efforts was the corpse released.
During a condolence visit to the family paid by members of the university management, members of the university’s Students Union and some students of the university, the deceased’s mother wailed: “Do not allow WAW Company make me suffer in vain. He (Richard) went to struggle to assist us due to the Covid-19 break. He has worked for three months and has been buying things he will need when school resume. My son was inside the machine since yesterday morning till the evening.
“I appeal to all Nigerians to fight for me. I also worked at the company when there was no one to assist me refund my debt where I sell. And that was why my son also said he wants to work there to assist us with his school fee.
“I was at the factory with my husband yesterday and we were delayed for long hours before I was rushed to the hospital. I was not allowed to see my son; little did I know my son was at the time inside the machine.”
An aggrieved family member also said that none of the staff of the factory followed them to their house after the unfortunate incident. She appealed to the state government to lock up the factory.
The University’s Students Union President, Olusegun Akeju, expressed his displeasure that the company had not visited the family and promised that the students would visit the company.
On arrival at Henkel Nigeria Limited, Oluyole factory in the afternoon, the students were at first denied access to the premises— a development which almost triggered a commotion save for the intervention of the police.
Afterwards, the Special Adviser on Youths and Sports to the Governor of Oyo State, Hon. Kazeem, Bolarinwa, the Special Assistant to the Governor on Student Affairs, Hon. Oloyede Victor, and three student’s representatives were granted entrance to speak with the factory management.
After the meeting, Hon. Oloyede remarked: “We have met with the management and they sincerely apologize for not immediately responding to what has happened because they thought if they had gone to visit the family of the deceased, there could have been more crisis.
“And while we all are angry with what has happened and the way the company have reacted, we have instructed them and they have promised us that they will move immediately with the Students Union to support the family of the deceased.”
Currently, the Oluyole Police Station, are probing the circumstances surrounding the death of the 20 year-old Richard.