Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has described the demise of Chief Duro Onabule as not only a big loss to his family, but to Nigeria .
The minister spoke with newsmen on Sunday, shortly after paying a condolence visit to the deceased’s family in Lagos.
Onabule, a former presidential spokesman of ex-military President, retired Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, died on Tuesday at 83.
Mohammed, who was received by Onabule’s widow, Subeidat, and other members of the family, said the country had lost a journalistic titan and a core patriot with his passing.
He said that Onabule was a model of exemplary service not only to the nation, but also the people.
“I had known Chief Onabule for more than four decades, that is why I had a lot to write about him in the condolence register.
“Like I said during my address earlier,his death is not only a big loss to the family, the Awujale of Ijebuland and Ogun State, Nigeria has indeed lost a remarkable person.
“Look at his career, he was a formidable journalist; he was a titan of that profession; he was a respectable presidential spokesman, he was a great columnist.
“He mentored so many young people. He was a lover of the country, Nigeria has lost a patriot and a journalistic titan”, he said.
Mohammed said Onabule’s time as the immediate past board chairman of Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) would be remembered for a long time to come as he gave his best while serving.
He said Chief Onabule was one of
those rare journalists who had done well being critics of government and serving government and the people.
“He was one of the few people who have seen both sides of the coin; he had been a journalist critical of government and had been a spokesperson for government”, he said.
The minister said Onabule’s column was always a delight to read, adding he did not like missing it for his clarity of thought.
Mohammed prayed for the peaceful repose of Onabule’s soul, asking God to grant the family the fortitude to bear the loss.
Mr Abdul Hamid Dembos ,Acting Director-General ,NTA,who was with the minister during the visit, said though the exit of Onabule was painful, the consolation was that he lived an impactful life.
He said the nation occupied a special place in the late Onabule’s heart, as he always put the nation first in all he did.
“Going by his write-ups, he was always reminding Nigerians that, the nation first before other interests.
“And this speaks volume.Though we are sad for the loss, equally, we should be happy he has lived a fulfilled life”, he said.
Speaking with our correspondent, Onabule’s widow, Subeidat, said it would be difficult coping without her husband, as he was a great partner and a caring family man.
“I will really miss him, he was a great husband, he was a father; he was everything to me.
“We had been married for 45 years before his death and I will say my life with him was wonderful.
“I am really happy about the great things people are saying about my late husband.He was father to all and he loved other people’s children like his “, she said
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