Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Ohakim: I wished I died before Pini Jason


By Precious Igboenwelundu
The Nation, May 9, 2013


Former Imo State Governor Ikedi Ohakim was emotional yesterday as he reflected on his relationship with the late columnist and veteran journalist, Mr Pini Jason Onyegbadue.
The Vanguard columnist, who died at the weekend, was the former governor’s aide.
Ohakim said it would have been better if he had died before the columnist because it would be difficult for him to cope without the late journalist.
The former governor showed the depth of his relationship with the late journalist when he visited the deceased’s family in Lagos.
Ohakim said: “Pini was a rock. He was our Rock of Olumo. He was a master and we all learnt from him.”
He described his State Executive Council (Exco) as the best across Africa.
According to him, there were 16 Ph.D holders in the Exco of 18 members.
The former governor recalled that the deceased only complained of kneel aches during their last month’s medical tour abroad.
Ohakim said: “How I wished I even died before Pini! It would have been better for me because I cannot imagine how I will cope. Right now in his house, I have told him to tell me how I will manage, because he was my rock.
“In the military, there is what will call S and T, which is where you get supply from at the war front. He was our S and T and was supplying us with motivation, programmes and plans. Then we continued to be in the trenches today because he was giving us lifeline.
“Now that he is no more, I do not know whether we are to surrender? But I have assured him that surrender is out of the question. So, I have told him to tell us what to do right here in his house and he should provide the answers to our questions. I am demanding for an answer and want to get it before I leave his house. He should tell me why now?” Ohakim lamented.
Recalling their last social outing, the former governor noted that the deceased with his wife, Obby, visited him during the Eid-el-Moulud and had barbecue.
He said they also discussed the state of the nation for about two hours.
Ohakim said: “I recall vividly that during the last Muslim holiday, Pini came with his wife, Obby, and the three of us with my children had barbecue. We spent almost two hours discussing the state of the nation and that very day remains one of the best moments in my life.”
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