An open book is finally closed !, By Segun Olanipekun


May the soul of my classmate, friend, brother and my family’s BIG Daddy, the Quadruple Leader, find eternal rest, as we empathize with his family, friends, and Olomu’s council, as well. that the community of Omu aran during the loss of their illustrious son, Eesa Adebayo.

“You can easily judge a man’s character by the way he treats those who can do nothing for him. “ – Johann W. van Goethe.

Father figure in modern German literature, Goethe, aptly describes the person and life of Eesa Olaniyi Jide Adebayo (1955-2021), a distinguished journalist who was a former acting director general of the Agency Press Office of Nigeria (NAN). Eesa Adebayo, aka Mr. Jide Adebayo, who died Thursday, November 4, 2021 in a hospital in Lagos at the age of 66, has been a role model in her career, a focal point in her community and a proud believer in traditions . Above all, he was a man of peace, a popular person, a devoted father and a loving husband. He was highly respected by his peers for his first-rate intelligence and oracular wisdom. Eesa Adebayo had no air when it came to communicating with people of all origins, classes and creeds; he was always at ease with young and old.

And the late Adebayo was a good man. Dennis Prager, the unionized American radio host, intones that “Kindness is all about character – integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, moral courage, etc.”, stressing, however, that “more than anything else, it is acts the way we treat others. Without a doubt, Adebayo embodies all these qualities. But what set him apart from the pack during his six decades on earth is his strange habit of paying close attention to the needs of others and meeting them uninvited. This he did, often at his own expense.

Adebayo’s good character, amiable personality, and friendly disposition are attested to by many of his colleagues at NAN, with whom he has worked, mingled and mingled for 35 years of his journalistic career. Read some excerpts from their comments upon learning of his death:

According to Ms Kate Popoola, who worked with Eesa Adebayo for over 20 years and eventually became her assistant, Mr Adebayo’s most obvious virtue was humility. He looked more like an older brother than a boss, accessible to housekeepers and messengers, as he was to his co-workers and the like. Mr. Francis Nwosu, the current Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Press Council, who gave the deceased the nickname, “D’Crown Prince” in the NAN, lamented his death as the loss of a brother and a brother. confidant, while his senior colleague Dr Bisi Olawunmi described him as “a worthy and quintessential gentleman, always respectful”.

To the trio of Mr. Buki Ponle, now Managing Director of NAN; Mr. Paul Ejime, veteran war correspondent and public affairs analyst; and Mr. Segun Adeyemi, special assistant to the president in the cabinet of the Minister of Information and Culture, Adebayo was an open book, down to earth, without “no tunes, no anger, no expectations excessive from anyone, just a constant display of unadulterated love at all.

And in his community of Omu aran in Kwara State, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the late Adebayo was a critical heartbeat of the locality. Throughout her life, Eesa Adebayo devoted her time, talent and treasure to the progress and development of her hometown. He was a bridge between the traditional and the modern, a man who cherished the vestiges of the cultural past and wore them with enthusiasm and swagger. The late Eesa was a “wanted” in Omu aran and its surroundings. He mingled freely and also with the elite and the oppressed.

No wonder the community signaled him to lead them as the sixth Eesa, the traditional chief’s second in command, during a difficult period of interregnum. He was installed at Eesa on May 11, 2018, following the transition of then reigning Olomu, Oba Oladele Ibitoye on November 30, 2017. Eesa Adebayo acted effectively and honorably as de jure and de facto ruler of the sprawling city until the successful enthronement of the current Olomu, Oba Abdulraheem Adeoti on September 22, 2018.

Eesa Adebayo was also a great man of tradition, who joyfully regaled you with the ancient rites, rituals and anecdotes of his sub-nationality Igbomina Yoruba. He had the rare gift of reliving historical episodes and cultural events with the faithful memory of a griot. He was also a modernist, an apostle of the Enlightenment, who skilfully navigated the crevices of the binary of ancient beliefs and contemporary religious beliefs without breaches, abominations or heresy.

Recognizing his immense contribution to community service and culture, from near and far, he has been generously awarded with several chiefdom titles from Otun Gbobaniyi from Omu aran (2003), Otun Gbadero from Ollaland (2011) and Maiyegun from Ogidi Ijumu (2014) in Kogi State. And then came the jewel in the crown, Eesa Omu aran (2018), a title that is akin to a city prime minister with a modern connotation.

Despite all the recognition and accolades, Eesa Adebayo was at home as the patron of many grassroots organizations, a position he used to empower their members. For example, he was a sponsor of the Nigeria Welders’ Association, branch of Omu aran; the second ECWA Church Choir; Elite women’s club of Omu aran; and the Association of Hairdressers of Omu aran; as well as a member of the Omu aran social club, of which he was formerly the president. Indeed, if Omu aran were to be an engine room, the late Adebayo would have been its dynamo.

Unsurprisingly, news of his disappearance was greeted by a tidal wave of a grieving and crying crowd, as his remains were brought home on Saturday, November 6 for a special church service and funeral. . Community leaders who paid tribute and praised him, besides traditional leaders, included the president of the Omu aran Development Association, retired General Yemi Abidoye, a close friend of the deceased, who described him as an excellent journalist and quintessential community leader, adding that “he was a promoter of peace, an impartial, honest and God-fearing leader”. Mr. Funsho Salawu, a classmate and longtime friend of the late Adebayo, told the service that the community “has lost someone who is difficult to replace,” noting that the “volume of condolences since his passing is extraordinary and unprecedented”.

As the people of Omu aran bid farewell to their revered son on November 6, 2021 in a burst of glory, it should be made clear that the late Eesa was also a colossus in his chosen career as a journalist. For a mention he was the first Executive Director, Marketing of NAN, a renowned sports publisher, which covered international sporting events in France, Saudi Arabia, etc. He also received the prestigious Fellowship of the Nigeria Guild of Editors Award, recognition of his outstanding contribution to journalism by his peers. Let us not forget that he was the Kwara State Commissioner for Information, Culture, Sports and Youth in 1999.

May the soul of my classmate, friend, brother and my family’s BIG Daddy, the Quadruple Leader, find eternal rest, as we empathize with his family, friends, and Olomu’s council, as well. that the community of Omu aran during the loss of their illustrious son, Eesa Adebayo. CIAO !!! As you have always told your friends.

Segun Olanipekun, professor of journalism, wrote from the United States.

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