When the sun set for unsung talented sports journalist

When the sun set for unsung talented sports journalist

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By Osaigbovomwan Iguobaro

The death of a young person is indeed a tragedy. It is usually prefaced with the solemn tributes; “the wicked have done their worst”, while for others, “We love you but the Lord loves you more” or “A Painful Exit.”

CAPTION. L-R: CHAIRMAN OF THE NIGERIA UNION OF JOURNALISTS, EDO STATE COUNCIL, COMRADE ROLAND OSAKUE (RIGHT) ASSISTED BY OTHER JOURNALIST TAKING THE BODY OF COMRADE AHMED AIGBONA FROM THE NUJ PRESS CENTRE INTO A WAITING AMBIANCE FOR BURIAL BY HIS FAMILY ON MONDAY/AHMED AIGBONA

“With total submission to the Will of God…”, and “Inna Lillahi wa inna Ilayhi Raji’un”, according to adherents of Islam.

However, the tone of elegy varies depending on the circumstances of the death or the religious inclination of the deceased family.

At 12: 30p.m West Africa time on Sunday August 15, 2021 when Comrade Ahmed Aigbona, one of the most talented sports analysts of his generation, sent a text message to a Benin-based Vendor, requesting for some newspaper publications, he probably didn’t know that he won’t live to read the papers.

After his death few hours later at Edo State Specialist hospital, Benin City, and his burial at his hometown, in Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State, members of his family, journalists and other mourners, have not ceased to ponder on the underlying and causative cause of his sudden demise.

It was said by his close relatives that Aigbona was wheeled into a private hospital, Faith Mediplex on Airport in Benin City, due to complications arising from his respiratory tissues.

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Following reports of lack of oxygen at the Faith Mediplex, he was thereafter, referred to Edo State Specialist Hospital where he was pronounced clinically dead by a medical doctor on Sunday evening.

Report of the journalist’s death went viral on the internet. To state that it was a black Sunday to his close friends, is stating the obvious.

The former two-time Chairman of the State sports writers Association of Nigeria, SWAN, he made his mark and lived for others. Truly, he swallowed the proverbial fire for others to drink water.

The problem-solving skills of the 48-year-old man and humility to a fault, were profound. These rare attributes endeared him to the low and mighty within and outside Nigeria’s sports arena.

Even in challenging times, his face still beams with smiles. His team spirit was indeed a source of encouragement to most members of the pen confraternity and bewildered friends and well-wishers who are yet to recover from the news of the death of the unsung sports journalist who hails from Etsako West Local Government Area of the State.

His body was brought to Edo State Council of the NUJ, Press Centre at about 9:30a.m. for a brief valedictory session before he continued his final journey to home and funeral.

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In his tribute, Chairman of Edo NUJ, Comrade Roland Osakue in company of other members of the Union, guests, friends and well-wishers, described late Ahmed Aigbona as a seasoned journalist.

“Aigbona is a man to be remembered all through in our generation.

“When it comes to sports, who is who are his friends.

“This is indeed a very solemn moment.

Osakue described his death as “a fatal blow to members of his family, adding that journalists are the most pained.

“He belongs to the Merit Chapel of the NUJ”, he said.

Also speaking, President of
Auchi Indigents Club and a family member, Alhaji Momodu Dauda, said, “between yesterday (Sunday evening and Monday morning), the testimony that we have been hearing about him has been awesome.

Dauda charged humanity to be kind to people and leave a worthy legacy and implored the NUJ to look out for the children of the deceased.

Meanwhile, the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has expressed grief and shock over the passing of renowned sportswriter.

Obaseki, in a statement, said the late Aigbona personified excellence in sports journalism and served as a rallying point for sports stakeholders in Edo State and Nigeria.

The governor noted: “I received with rude shock and disbelief, the sad news of the death of renowned sports writer and former chairman of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Edo State chapter, Comrade Ahmed Aigbona.

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“The late Aigbona personified excellence in sports reporting in the country. He was a dogged, vibrant and committed patriot who brought passion to his job, deploying his expertise and wealth of experience to advance sports writing and development in Edo State and Nigeria.

“His sudden demise has indeed created a big vacuum in the sports writers’ family; he will be sorely missed.

“My deep condolences to his immediate family, friends and associates, the SWAN family, journalists in Edo State and indeed the world”, he said.

Indeed, Aigbona has not only left an indelible marks in the annals of history as a defender of journalists’ rights, but he made the job of the master of ceremony much easier, by not telling lies at his funeral.

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