Kogi state was on Monday thrown into mourning following the announcement of the sudden death of the former Managing Director of the Daily Times, Dr. Onukaba Adinoyi-Ojo. He was aged 57.
The late renowned journalist, who was buried yesterday according to Islamic rites, was said to have died in a ghastly motor accident.
He died at about 6pm on Sunday at a village near Akure, the Ondo state capital. The late Onukaba was on his way back to Abuja from Abeokuta, Ogun state, where he had joined other dignitaries to attend the inauguration of the former President Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library.
Some prominent veteran journalists in Kogi state, including Mr. Tim Ejiga, who expressed shock on the death of the Dr. Adinoyi-Ojo, stated that the state has lost another icon and leader whose contributions would have led to its prosperity.
Also lamenting the death, a civil society organisation activist, based in Lokoja, Comrade Idris Miliki, extolled the virtures of the late Onukaba as “a journalist to the core who has toiled to reach the pinnacle of his career.”
Miliki said that the deceased defied all inducements to compromise and that stood him as a rare journalist.
One of his relations, Yusuf Itopa, confirmed his death to the News Agency of Nigeria in Lokoja on yesterday.
According to Itopa, the late Adinoyi-Ojo was knocked down by an oncoming vehicle, while running into a nearby bush to escape an armed robbery attack.
Itopa, who is devastated by the death of his brother, said three of them, including his driver, were traveling when they ran into a blockade mounted by armed robbers.
He added that Adinoyo-Ojo’s corpse was later deposited at a mortuary in Akure, from where it was brought for burial on yesterday in his hometown, Ihima in Okehi local government area of Kogi state.
The late veteran journalist was a Senior Special Assistant on Media to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar. He had earlier lost his first wife, Rachael, about five years ago.
He later remarried in 2015 to Memunat. The Onukaba is survived by three children – two girls and a boy.
He started his journalism career in The Guardian in 1983.
A biography made available by a close friend of the late Onukaba said the deceased was born on March 9, 1960 in Oboroke-Ihima, Okehi local government area of Kogi state to the family of Mallam Shuaibu Onukaba and Hajia Aisha Onukaba.
Onukaba has received numerous other awards for his decency, integrity, creativity and kindness.
A seasoned journalist, playwright and publisher of high repute, Onukaba has published many books and journals, including: “In the Eye of Time” – a biography of former President Olusegun Obasanjo; “Atiku Abubakar”- a biography of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar; and “Born to Run” – a biography of late Dele Giwa, co-authored by him and Dele Olojede.
Some of his plays include Her Majesty’s Visit, A Resting Place, Tower of Burden, The Virginity Flee, The Lone Ranger, Bargain Hunting, and Soommalliyya.
His play: “The Killing Swamp,” was one of the three finalists for the 2010 Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Literature Award.
A renowned journalist, patriot, politician, administrator and an unrepentant advocate of social justice, Onukaba ventured in to politics to liberate all the people of Kogi state from the mindless system that has for decades ruined them and subjected them to mere servitude.
His service and performance at the Daily Times was excellent and wonderful, a feat that has kept the title flying.