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Published On: Fri, Oct 3rd, 2014

Jonathan, Obasanjo, mourn Remi Oyo

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Remi-OyoBy Lawrence Olaoye and James Ogunnaike, Abeokuta

President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday expressed grief over the death of the former Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) and the former Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Jonathan, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. ReubenAbati, stated that he received the news of Oyo’s demise with sadness.

He said, “On behalf of his family and the Federal Government, President Jonathan extends sincere condolences to her husband, Vincent, her children, Otome and Okiemuote, her surviving siblings and other relatives.

“The President similarly commiserates with the Nigerian Guild of Editors who Dame Oyo served most admirably as a two-term President in the course of her trail-blazing journalism career, the management and staff of NAN as well as the many colleagues, friends and protégés she garnered in her very fulfilled life.

“President Jonathan joins them in mourning Dame Oyo, who, having attained great success in a profession hitherto dominated by men, patriotically entered national service as Senior Special Assistant (Media & Publicity) to former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2003 and served with great distinction as the first female Press Secretary to a Nigerian Head of State until 2007.

“The President believes that although she was already much honoured in life with accolades and awards including Officer of the Order of the Niger, Dame Oyo will always be remembered and continually honoured in posterity for her exemplary professional life, her inspiring leadership qualities, motherliness and generosity, her immense patriotism and her remarkable transformation of the NAN, during her tenure as the agency’s Managing Director,” he stated.

Also, former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Ogun state governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun yesterday lamented the death of Mrs. Remi Oyo, saying her death has “left a very sour taste in the mouth.”

Obasanjo, in a condolence message to the family of his former Senior Special Assistant on Media, said he received the news of her demise with “sadness and heaviness of heart,” describing her as a “thorough bred professional in journalism.”

According to Obasanjo, who also described Mrs. Oyo’s death as quite “painful,” noted that the nation’s media industry remained largely dominated by those who had been positively influenced directly or indirectly by her.

Obasanjo said: “Through her distinguished public service as my Senior Special Assistant on Media while I was at the helms of affairs as the civilian President of Nigeria between 1999 and 2007, Remi earned the recognition and admiration of many of her compatriots across the length and breadth of this country”.

“She was a dutiful and hardworking woman and she gave her very best to the end in the service of her fatherland. She was not only dutiful; she was professional and loyal to the core.”

On his part, the Ogun state governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun expressed sadness at the death of frontline female journalist and former presidential spokesperson, saying he was shocked by the sudden death of the veteran journalist, describing it as a big loss to journalism in particular and the media industry in general.

The governor also acknowledged her superlative performance in all professional capacities, noting that “as a reporter, editor and Nigerian Bureau Chief of Rome-based Inter Press Service News Agency (IPS), Remi Oyo exhibited a passion for journalism, which made her attain greater heights, including election as the first female President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) and subsequent appointment as Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).


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