Immediate past President of the Senate , Senator David Mark, and his former colleague, Dr. Nurudeen Abatemi-Usman have described the death of a frontline journalist, playwright and former Managing Director of the old Daily Times of Nigeria Plc, Dr. Onukaba Adinoyi- Ojo as painful and devastating.
There were conflicting reports as to how he died. One version said Onukaba reportedly died Sunday night after his car crashed while fleeing armed robbers on the Akure-Abuja Road. Another said he was knocked down while running into the bush after he abandoned his crashed car.
He was on his way to Abuja from the 80th Birthday Anniversary of former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the inauguration of his Presidential Library in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
The former journalist, biographer is expected to be buried his hometown, Ihima, at Okehi Local Government Area of Kogi.
He is surrvived by three children, two girls and a boy. Onukaba lost his first wife, Rachael five years ago, but remarried another, Memunat, in 2015.
Just a few days shy of his 57th birthday on March 9, 1960, Onukaba was the last chief executive of Daily Times before it was sold to private investors by former President Obasanjo.
Reacting to the untimely death of Onukaba in Abuja today, Senator Mark noted that the late Journalist was a patriotic NIGERIAN who worked and believed in the sanctity of the unity and peace of the nation.
Senator Mark recalled the contributions of Onukaba especially to the literary community and submitted that the late author was one of the brightest and fertile minds in the contemporary history of Nigeria.
” It is sad to note that Onukaba is no more. He was such a lively gentleman who was passionate about the economic and Socio political development of the nation.
” His dream was to see an egalitarian society and a new Nigeria, where every citizen will be free to pursue his or her legitimate ambition without fear of molestation or intimidation in any part of the country. Unfortunately, death denied him the opportunity . But one thing is sure, his dream lives on “, Senator Mark stated.
The former Senate boss urged the media to sustain the legacies of Onukaba anchored on truth, integrity, honesty, equity and hard work, which he brought bear while plying his trade to build a better Nigeria .
He enjoined his immediate family , government and people of Kogi state to take solace in the fact that Onukaba lived an eventful life worthy of emulation .
Former Vice Chairman Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Nurudeen Abatemi-Usman, expressed shock over the sudden death of Dr. Adinoyi-Ojo.
According to the former Senator, late Onukaba was among the 28 aspirants that participated in the contest for the ticket of All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2015 governorship election in Kogi State which produced the late Prince Abubakar Audu as the candidate of the party.
He said the late journalist who came third in the 2015 Kogi APC gubernatorial primary poll, the late Onukaba was a gentleman to the core who did not see politics as a do-or-die affair.
Describing him as a man who has made his mark in his chosen career of journalism, Abatemi-Usman said his death was a great loss to the entire people of Ebiraland, Kogi State and Nigeria in general.
“I received with great shock the news of the demise of Dr. Adinoyi Ojo Onukaba. It is, indeed, a very sad and painful news to us. Onukaba was a complete gentleman and a sober voice in our chaotic political clime,” Abatemi-Usman said.
The former lawmaker who represented Kogi Central Senatorial District in the Seventh Senate, prayed God to grant Onukaba a peaceful repose and the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.