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Anger, tributes as slain Guardian editor, Ohu, is buried

By Ola AJAYI & Ebun  BABALOLA
The remains of slain journalist, Mr. Bayo Ohu,  were interred yesterday in his hometown, Ado Awaye area of Oyo State . He was buried on his undeveloped plot of land at the outskirts of his town.  Hundreds of sympathizers thronged the peaceful town from states across the country.

Anger was visible on faces of his kinsmen who continually rained curses on whoever might be the killers of their illustrious son.

However, friends and relatives could not hold back their tears at the service of songs held for the late Ohu, at his Egbeda, Lagos residence last Thursday night .

sympertisers crying at the graveside Photo: Bunmi Azeez and Dare Fasube
sympertisers crying at the graveside Photo: Bunmi Azeez and Dare Fasube

Speaking during the programme, Provincial Pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Lagos Province 7, Pastor Olutunbi, said the life and time of late Bayo were a reflection of humility, kindness, truth, honesty, transparency, purity and passion for God.

Meanwhile, a cousin to the late Bayo, disputed the claim by the police that he was robbed.
According to him, there was no evidence of robbery, but  a clear case of assassination.

He said: “eye witnesses who gave an account of the whole scenario said assassins killed him, and afterwards, made away with his laptop and two GSM phones that probably might contain crucial information.”

For him, it is possible that those who communicated with him some hours before his death could have trailed him,  perhaps, he had some stories to write as a journalist.

At the entrance of his family house was a banner that read “Bayo Ohu: Sunset at noon . They have murdered our star and pillar”.

Mrs Blessing Ohu, third from right and the children paying their last respect dust-to-dust at the Graveyard
Mrs Blessing Ohu, third from right and the children paying their last respect dust-to-dust at the Graveyard

The sight of journalists provoke tears among sympatisers at his residence.
Some were cursing, saying they delivered the assailants into the hands of the Almighty God who is the best judge.

Body arrived 1pm

When the body arrived his village in Oyo State at about town around 1pm , the pall bearers headed to the family house where some elders were busy consoling the father, Mr. Samuel Ogunleke Ohu.

Father of the deceased

Pa Ohu said words could not express the sadness in him because he still discussed with him about a fortnight ago where the late Bayo Ohu told him that he would come home to start developing a plot of land in the town.

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He pleaded with the government that since the assailants had cut short his life, they should try and take care of the children.

His sister, Mrs Bilkisu Ayo,  said she would miss her brother for a long time because he was the one that sponsored her during her studies at the Oyo State College of Education, Lanlate Campus and that he was  at her wedding in May 8th and 9th.

Her words, “Why should they kill him like this? My brother was a gentle man. Why didn’t you people stop them from killing my only hope? Are you telling me that it is all over like that?

“He told me to go and learn how to sell drugs, pending the time I would get a job. He is our pillar. Until I see his corpse, then I would know it is all over for me,” she wailed.

Hundreds of residents in the town had trooped out to catch the last glance at the corpse. The market which was scanty as a result of the grief that befell the town was literally empty as all traders who displayed their wares abandoned them and went to the family house.

Burial-of-Bayo-Ohu-5

The corpse was carried inside the house where all strangers were barred from entry. But after thirty minutes, it was taken to the Ebenezer Baptist Church , Ado Awaye.

In the church, the auditorium could not contain the surging crowd that attended the funeral service.

The officiating minister, Pastor Emmanuel Gbadegesin enjoined all to be prepared because the death would come when no one expects adding that the wife and children should weep no more because God would surely complete the thing he had started.

Managing Director, Guardian Newspaper, Mr. Emeka Izezi said, “it is not easy to be making all these speeches over and over again. As industrious as he was, he knew President Umaru Yar’Adua before he became the governor.

So, as relevant as he was, he was the only one that was so close to the president. In fact, the president called personally when he died. This showed how close he was to the president. He was in Katsina for many years before we called him to Lagos on promotion. We did not even inform  him ahead.

For us in Guardian, we have lost a friend. He was never reluctant to do difficult jobs like covering Ekiti State and many others. We can’t really understand now. God would comfort you and comfort us too.

Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala of Oyo State

Speaking through his Special Adviser on Public Communication, Prince Dotun Oyelade, the governor of Oyo State  said he was a very responsible man and that he was always calling to give useful advice on how the state would move forward.

Yisa Yussuf, close friend

When I was in Lagos about two weeks ago, we slept together on the same bed. We discussed up till around 3am .

This I had not told the family up till now. He appeared to me and asked me if I knew what had happened. I said no. another time he came, he said I should set a table outside for him to write. He refused to come inside.

Ayoade Adedayo, Vice President NUJ told all the journalists to do a special investigative reporting that would put an end to these senseless killings.


Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.