Vanguard columnist, Chief Pini Jason Onyegbadue, popularly known as Pini Jason, is dead. He died Saturday afternoon in a Lagos hospital after undergoing a surgical procedure a few days ago. He was 65.
Mr. Jason was a long time Vanguard columnist who took a leave of absence in 2007 to work as special assistant on special duties to former governor Ikedi Ohakim of Imo State. He returned to writing his column at the newspaper following Mr. Ohakim’s exit as governor in 2011.
Pini’s last column was published Tuesday April 30 2013 and was titled,” A letter to Yushau Shuaib”, on the travails of the former spokesman of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA.
Tributes followed swiftly.
General Manager, Publication/Editor-in-Chief of Vanguard, Mr Gbenga Adefaye, described him as a Nigerian who dreamt excellence and a wholesome regeneration of our nation.
Vanguard Editor, Mr Mideno Bayagbon, said Jason embodied “the best in journalism.”
Adefaye said: “Chief Pini Jason Onyegbadue, was that indelible part of the Vanguard character who worked for a better Nigeria with every talent in him before his death. An unpretentious humanist, you always knew where you stood with Pini. Fair, broadminded as he was analytical, Pini was the Nigerian who dreamt excellence and a wholesome regeneration of our nation even as we are hunted by pettiness, ethnicity and cronyism. He will be sorely missed even as Vanguard may find it difficult to replace him. Rest in peace Chief and may your dream for Nigeria come through.”
In his own tribute, Bayagbon said: ” It seems so unbelievable that Pini Jason, one of the most lucid voices in our quest for a greater Nigeria and indeed a greater Africa, is dead. Just like that? It shows how ephemeral life is, how illogical our inordinate materialistic ambitions are. Pini embodied the best in journalism. At the Vanguard family, we will sorely miss his friendly but matured voice and humaneness.