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More Nigerians mourn veteran journalist Onukaba Adinoyi-Ojo

By Pamela Eboh, Awka on 15/03/2017

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•Late Dr. Onukaba Adinoyi Ojo.
•Late Dr. Onukaba Adinoyi Ojo.

More Nigerians have joined in mourning veteran journalist and former Managing Director of Daily Times of Nigeria, Dr. Onukaba Adinoyi-Ojo, with many finding it difficult to come to terms with his sudden death.

Ojo who was a onetime governorship aspirant in Kogi State passed on after a robbery attack while returning from the launch of former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s Presidential Library at Abeokuta, Ogun State last Sunday.

Reacting to the news of the death of the veteran journalist, the former Secretary to the State Government in Anambra State, Mr. Oseloka Obaze, described him as a courageous, blunt and a trenchant critic of Nigerian leaders who lifted below their weight.

He said, “Ojo, along with Tunji Lardner, Sonola Olumhense, Dan Akerejah, Yewande Ordia, and I, were Nigeran Diaspora friends in New York at the time he served as President Obasanjo’s aide before he joined the United Nations and went on to serve in Somalia.

“As a diehard Obasanjo loyalist, Ojo led a group of young US-based Nigerians who canvassed for Obasanjo's release from prison.

“As a person and professional, he always spoke truth to power, once publicly challenging Gen. Joe Garba over his taciturnity in challenging the Abacha regime.”

He also portrayed Ojo as a patriot, gifted writer, and more so as a playwright recalling what a sweet experience it was engaging the late Journalist in a debate or discourse saying his mind was incisive and his worldview ennobling.

“He will be sorely missed,” he added.

On his part, the former presidential adviser and secretary of the PDP caretaker committee, Senator Ben Obi gave a narrative of the late Ojo, as a huge loss to Nigeria, saying that journalism has lost one of its greatest minds.

Recalling in an emotion laden voice, he said that he and Onukaba became close after the death of their wives noting that he gave him a name ‘Senior’ because Onukaba’s wife died before his.

Obi said: “I must confess that the demise of Onukaba was a shock to me. It was indeed a devastating shock to me when I read it. It was more devastating because on 5th March, I was transiting from Istanbul, Turkey to Dubai when I got a call from His Excellency, Mr. Laila Odinga, former Keyan Prime Minister, who was the keynote speaker at my Zik Annual Lecture last year.

“We went back to Abuja from Awka and we had dinner in my house. He came to the dinner with his friend Onukaba and my friend, General Gusau was also at the diner.

The following day, we had breakfast in my house and the former Kenyan Prime Minister briefed us about his preparation for the election he was to contest.

“Adinoyi Ojo suggested that we should access the possibility of supporting him to ensure his victory.

“Surprisingly, on Sunday morning, the 5th of March, Laila Odinga called me and said he had been trying Adinoyi’s number and was not getting through after both attended Obasanjo’s ceremony and he asked me to tell Onukaba to reach him. I tried too but was not successful.

“It was later that I read in the social media of his demise. I was devastated and chattered. I remember when he wrote a book on former Vice President Atiku and he came to interview me. He asked how I was able to regain my mandate after two years legal battle and how we managed to scuttle the Obasanjo’s Third term agenda.

“Onukaba lost his wife before I lost mine and I call him my senior in that unfortunate incident. Certainly Journalism has lost one of the best writers of our time.

“When he wanted to contest for governor of Kogi State, he asked me to accompany him to Atiku to inform him and to secure his support. So, his death was very painful, especially considering the circumstances surrounding it.

Senator Obi further described late Ojo as a fine man and an impeccable character lost in an ugly manner praying God to grand his gentle soul a place in his bosom.

Source News Express

Posted 15/03/2017 2:15:06 PM


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