-Family meets on burial arrangements
Tributes have been pouring in from family members, colleagues and admirers of the veteran broadcaster, Pa Tunji Oni-Ororo Owolabi, who died at the General Hospital, Ikorodu, after brief illness.
Pa Owolabi, who retired about 22 years ago but was retained in the service of the Radio Lagos, died on Sunday, January 5, 2020, and his remains has since been deposited in the hospital’s mortuary.
His last official journalism engagement of the Otun-Ekiti in Ekiti State – born journalist was the coverage of the commissioning of the Oriwu Central Mosque, Ikorodu, on Saturday, December 28, 2019.
Other journalists that also covered the commissioning of the Mosque told our reporter that late Pa Owolabi looked very sick.
According to our findings when our reporter visited the veteran journalist home at Aga on Monday (today), family members of the late ace broadcaster were being expected for a meeting later in the day to determine the burial plans.
Mrs Modupe Owolabi, wife of the deceased, described him as a very good family man and a friendly person who accommodated everyone.
“Baba was a very good man who liked everyone. He was lovely and he brought his children and family members together”, his wife stated.
“He was a tireless man while alive. So dedicated to his work and other engagements. He hardly rest and there was no way you could hold him down”, she stated while recalling his husband’s lifestyle while alive.
“It was when he returned from the coverage of the commissioning of the Oriwu Central Mosque on Saturday, December 28, 2019, that his sickness started and I did advised him to rest and not to go out the following day.
“The sickness aggravated late in the night and we rushed him to the hospital where the doctor tried all their efforts”.
Mrs Funmilola Olu, the deceased ‘s younger brother’s daughter, speaking with THE IMPACT, stated that the late broadcaster was going to be missed by the family and his colleagues in journalism profession.
“He was a good man. He was like a tree which every other branches are attached to and now that the tree has fallen, the entire family is going to feel his eternal absence.
“He was a very nice and principled man who didn’t take nonsense from anyone or accept injustice being done to others. He abhored cheating and when you tell him that you have been cheated, he was always ready to follow you to seek justice. I’m going to miss him greatly in that regard. I don’t have anybody to fight for me again except God.
“He was such a man that accommodated everyone including his family and loved his children. He was very hardworking despite his age.
“His death is a great loss to us. He is going to be greatly missed”, she stated.
Mr Akin Olalekan, a media consultant who was former with Oriwu Sun and Lagos Horizon, also speaking with our reporter at the deceased’s home, stated that :
“Baba was a very industrious and agile journalist. He was very straightforward in all his dealings when it comes to the profession. He did not compromise the ethics of the profession .
“He was somebody that delivered news/stories on time.
“Though, a very senior colleague, but in all our dealings, he had been a role model. We met in 1985 and since then, I have no cause to fault him in anything. He was very jovial and there was never a dull moment with him.
“He was a journalist that brought himself to the lowest level of whoever he met. He didn’t brag that he was big or small and he didn’t discriminate. He was a leveler who came down to everyone’s level in his dealings irrespective of who you are”, he stated.
“I have never seen anywhere or anytime that he got angry with anybody. That’s something I have been able to learnt from him personally. He tolerated me for whom I am and many others like that. He knew how to manage his anger and that of others”.
Olalekan described late Pa Owolabi as a man of many parts and added that he would be missed by his audience.
“He was a man of many parts. He was a man of the people. Aside being a journalist, he was also a member of the Police Community Relation Committee (PCRC). That is to tell you how far he had gone in this community. His name was a ticket that open doors. Just mention his name, ‘Owolabi’, ‘Owoblow’, ‘Gbeborun’. That was Pa Owolabi for you.
“His death is a big blow, especially to those people around his domain – Ikorodu, Epe and Ibeju-Lekki axis. It is a complete blow. Most people would not know his impact now because before you close and open your eyes, your news is on air during his active days.
“But who is going to fill that gap? It was because there was nobody to fill the gap that made Radio Lagos to retain him after his retirement. Definitely, that vacuum will be there. His death will affect the people around this axis. May his soul rest in peace”.
Prince Ganny Awobajo, Publisher of Ikorodu News who said he received the news of the veteran broadcaster’s death with shock, stated in his tribute to THE IMPACT that :
“Our dear colleague, Owolabi of Radio Lagos, is gone.It is a sad news and sad loss. A newsman of many years. May his soul rest in peace. Amen”.
The Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ikorodu, Alhaji Longe Taiwo Alade, while also paying his tribute to the late journalist, stated that :
“Almighty Allah will grant him Aljanah Firdaus.”
Retired senior Police Officer and sports administrator, Alhaji Kola Akinsanya, in his own tribute, stated that :
“Our greatest EGBON is gone! May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace. Amen”.
Alhaji Shakiru Adio Adeleye, a Cameraman with Lagos Television, also stated:
“ R.I.P Baba Iroyin”.
A community activist, Adeleke Fasanya, also wrote:
“Rest in peace Pa Owolabi”.
Prince Deji Osho JP., a former Supervisory Councilor in Ikorodu Local Government, in his own tribute, wrote:
“Rest well sir”.
Mr Oluwakemi ‘Bashexy’ Hassan, a Senior legislative Aide and Chief Executive Officer, Suave Records, simply wrote:
“Rest in Peace”