Ex-Daily Times MD Adinoyi-Ojo is dead
Ex-Daily Times MD Adinoyi-Ojo is dead
•Saraki, Bello, Mark, NUJ mourn
The man Onukaba
The former Managing Director of the Daily Times Nigeria Plc, Dr. Adinoyi-Ojo Onukaba, started his journalism career in The Guardian in 1983 and made his mark covering the airport in Lagos.
Onukaba struck friendship with many Nigerian dignitaries on this beat, including former Head of State, Olusegun Obasanjo.
The relationship latter blossomed into Onukaba writing the first biography of the retired General, titled: ”In the Eyes of Time”.
He also wrote the biography of Atiku Abubakar, Nigeria’s former vice-president. It was titled:”The Story of Atiku Abubakar”.
The veteran journalist was born on March 9, 1960 in Oboroke-Ihima, Okehi LGA of Kogi State to the family of Malam Shuaibu Onukaba and Hajia Aisha Onukaba.
He obtained his first degree in 1982 in Theatre Arts from University of Ibadan.
He spent his National Youth Service Corps year at Radio Nigeria, Ikoyi –Lagos, from where he joined The Guardian in 1983.
He rose to the position of News Editor before travelling out in 1989 for graduate studies at New York University, New York, USA.
While in New York, he worked as a Research Officer at the African Leadership Forum, New York.
He also served as the Information Officer, Division of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM) between 1994 and 1995.
He obtained his Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1996 from New York University.
Dr. Onukaba became Adjunct Professor of Mass Communication at the School of New Resources, College of New Rochelle, New York in 1997.
Between 1997 and 1998, he worked as Press Officer, Department of Public Information, United Nations (New York).
In June 1998, he was sent to Iraq as an Information Officer, United Nations Office of the Humanitarian Coordinator.
Upon his return to Nigeria in 1999, he worked with former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, as Special Assistant on Media Relations.
He had known and related closely with both Atiku and Olusegun Obasanjo since 1984.
Onukaba got to the peak of his journalistic career in August 1999 when he was appointed Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the then ailing Daily Times of Nigeria PLC.
He returned to the Presidency as Senior Special Assistant to the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar on Public Communications between July 2003 and April 2005.
On several occasions, Onukaba had shown interest in the governorship post of his state.
But not being a man with deep pockets, he never made it beyond the primaries. His last attempt was in 2015, when he contested for the seat.
He also lost at the primary level on the platform of the All Progressives Congress.
Apart from his books on Atiku and Obasanjo, he also co-authored “Born to Run”, a biography of late Dele Giwa, with Pulitzer winner Dele Olojede.
Onukaba, despite his journalistic career, never divorced himself from his first love, Theatre Arts.
Thus, he had written several plays, some which are “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 NLNG Literature Awards.
In 2011, he made the shortlist of the Nigerian literature prize with his play – “A Resting Place”, a book on the late Ken Saro-Wiwa.
Until his death, he was a part time lecturer in the Department of Theatre Arts of the University of Abuja, where he taught the semantics of literature and plays.
A former Managing Director of the Daily Times Nigeria Plc, Dr. Adinoyi-Ojo Onukaba is dead.
He was aged 57.
Onukaba died at about 6pm on Sunday at Ero Village, a few metres to Igbaraoke in Ifedore Local Government Area of Ondo State.
It is about 10 minutes to Akure, the state capital.
He was on his way back to Abuja from Abeokuta, Ogun State, where he had joined other dignitaries for the inauguration of the Obasanjo Presidential Library.
Sources said the deceased noticed a long queue of vehicles at Ero village and alighted from the vehicle only to discover that it was a robbery incident, a development which prompted him to run into the bush alongside other passengers.
A car that also escaped from the scene coming from the Akure end of the road reportedly lost control and hit him (Onukaba), where he hid. The driver of the vehicle eventually escaped.
Police spokesman Femi Joseph confirmed the incident, describing it as unfortunate.
Joseph, who said the command has started investigation on the incident, said the body of the deceased has been released to the family.
The spot, where Onukaba was killed, has been identified as haven of armed robbers, where they even operate in the day light.
A top official of the First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Akure, Sola Abe, was on February 24 killed in the area after he was kidnapped along with his driver on their way to Lagos.
One of Onukaba relations, Mr. Yusuf Itopa, confirmed his death in Lokoja yesterday.
Itopa, who was devastated by Onukaba’s death, said three of them, including his driver were travelling when they ran into a blockade mounted by armed robbers.
He said Onukaba’s body was later deposited at a mortuary in Akure from where it was expected to be transfered to his hometown, Ihima, Okehi Local Government Area of Kogi State for burial.
The late Onukaba, who was Senior Special Assistant on Media to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, lost his first wife, Rachael, about five years ago.
He, however, remarried in 2015 to Memunat.
Onukaba is survived by three children – two girls and a boy