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Zookeeper killed by lion earned N5,000 – NAAT chairman

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Lion kills zookeeper

Mr. Matthew Oluwaniyi, the Chairman of the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, has disclosed that Olabode Olawuyi, the zookeeper killed by a lion, earned an N5,000 hazard allowance. 

Oluwaniyi disclosed this while speaking on the work hazards of union members in an interview with newsmen on Thursday.

Speaking on the hazard allowance received by the deceased, Oluwaniyi said, “His hazard allowance was N5,000 per month then. They were supposed to re-evaluate it to meet up with the N30,000 as agreed by the union, but that process was on probably till his death.”

Emphasizing that the hazard allowance received by the deceased was an “error,”  the NAAT chairman noted that “how that error came about was because of the different salary scales.

“He moved from a salary scale to another one, and they were supposed to upgrade his hazard allowance. There are two salary scales.

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“His cadre in NAAT belongs to the medical and veterinary sectors. So, he was moving there, and there were some allowances that he should get that were related to the salary structure.

“But when he moved to the medical salary structure, his hazard allowance was affected. I know they were working to correct that, but I don’t know if it had seen the light of day.”

The deceased zookeeper, who was gruesomely killed by a 9-year-old lion while attempting to rescue a woman, was described as a hero by the NAAT boss.

“He died a hero. As a natural human being, when we see such a thing, the next thing for us is to run away from that place and start calling for help. But Mr. Olawuyi did not run away and leave the worker who was trapped in the lion’s den.

“He immediately approached the worker and ensured he rescued her. So, it was such a heroic act that he did not even consider the fact that the lion might turn around to attack him, but he was more after preserving the life of the other person.”

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Alluding to the Holy Bible, Oluwaniyi compares the heroic act of the deceased zookeeper to the selfless love and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

What the deceased zookeeper did “is akin to what Jesus did. Mr. Olawuyi died for a junior worker under him who was initially attacked. He took over to rescue the woman,” Oluwaniya added.

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