By Vincent Ujumadu
FORMER presidential adviser and secretary of the PDP caretaker committee, Senator Ndii Obi has described the death of former managing director of the Daily Times, Dr. Onukaba Adinoyi Ojo, as a great loss to Nigeria, saying that journalism had lost one of its greatest minds.
Onukaba died in a motor accident while returning from the launch of former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s library at Abeakuta, Ogun State on Sunday.
In an emotion-laden interview in Awka, Obi said he and Adinoyi -Ojo became fond of each other after the death of their wives, recalling that he used to call him ‘senior’ because Onukaba’s wife died before his.
In a tribute to Adinoyi-Ojo, 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, 2017, I was travelling from Istanbul, Turkey to Dubai when I got a call from Mr. Laila Odinga, former Keyan Prime Minister, who was the keynote speaker at my Zik Annual lecture in Awka 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 in Kenya.
Adinoyi Ojo suggested that we should consider the possibility of supporting him to ensure his victory and we were working on it.
“Surprisingly, on Sunday morning, the 5th of March, Laila Odinga called me and said he had been trying Adinoyi –Ojo’s number and was not getting through after they both attended former President 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. 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 senate mandate after two years of legal battle and how we managed to scuttle 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. He was a fine man and an impeccable character to be lost in that manner and we pray to God to grand his gentle soul a place in his bosom.”