Exit of a Consummate Writer


Pini Jason, a columnist at Vanguard newspapers dies at 65

|  By Anayo Ezugwu  |  May 20, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT

HE is be dead. But he still lives in the mind of many Nigerians. Consummate writer, social commentator, veteran and perhaps, distinguished professional. All these have been the attributes of Pini Jason Onyegbaduo, one of the country’s finest columnist as the nation mourns his passing away. Jason, who was famously known for his column in the Vanguard newspaper, died in Lagos, after a brief illness on Saturday, May 4. He was 65.

Since the announcement of his death, tributes have been pouring in from Nigerians for the columnist who died at a time when his wise counsel and respected foresight on national issues were most needed. Gbenga Adefaye, editor-in-chief of Vanguard newspaper, described Jason as a Nigerian who always dreamt excellence.

Reuben Abati, special adviser to the president on media and publicity, in his statement, described the late columnist as a ‘very decent man.’  “His attitude to life was always positive. He wrote columns that were set apart by their clarity, thoughtfulness, sound knowledge and commitment to public good. We have lost another true defender of the people’s interests. He will be sorely missed by the Nigerian media family, and particularly his numerous readers. My best wishes to his family,” Abati said.

Atiku Abubakar, former vice-president, said the late veteran columnist had distinguished himself as a fearless writer that never hesitated to be on the side of what was right, regardless of whether it was pleasing to the ears of the powers that be or not. The former vice president also commended the extraordinary humility of the late Jason and the passion with which he was committed to his trade. He extended his condolences to the family of the late distinguished columnist and the Vanguard newspapers.

Adams Oshiomhole, Edo State governor, in his condolence message described Jason as a quintessential writer in a class of his own. “He was a wordsmith who used the right coinages to convey his message which the high and low found endearing. I always looked forward to reading his robust and incisive columns in the Vanguard every week, as he always had something new and refreshing to offer. His death is a big blow not only to the journalism profession but to all of us, his admirers. I commiserate with Sam Amuka, the publisher of Vanguard newspapers who, undoubtedly, has lost a good friend; the entire Vanguard family and indeed every member of the journalism profession on this sudden loss. I pray God to grant his immediate family the fortitude to bear the loss and for the deceased to find rest in the Lord’s bosom,” he said.

Emmanuel Uduaghan, Delta State governor, described the late Jason as a consummate writer whose passion for the journalism profession was unmistakable and a source of pride to those who read his column every week. He lamented that the celebrated columnist died when his wise counsel and respected foresight on national issues were most needed and noted that it would be difficult to fill the void left behind by the Imo State-born journalist.

Ikedi Ohakim, former Imo State governor, whom the late Jason served as a special adviser, described his death as “a rude shock, especially as we were never told that he was sick.” He also lamented that he has lost a very dear friend and brother in Pini Jason. “I am as shocked as I am totally confused over the reported death of my very good friend and brother, Pini Jason. He worked closely with me and religiously for the state. His sudden death is indescribable,” he said.

In the field of politics, economics as well as sociology, Jason had the intellectual clarity to comprehend and break very complex issues down. He was always one of the first to write on issues that touch directly on the people; he was a true Nigerian and a first class professional. He became the special assistant on special duties to Ohakim, former governor of Imo State in 2007 and he returned to writing his column at the newspaper in 2011.

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