Tributes followed swiftly the death yesterday.
The Presidency said Jason’s columns were set apart by their clarity, thoughtfulness, sound knowledge and commitment to public good. Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola said the death was an irreparable loss. His Anambra State counterpart, Mr Peter Obi, said the deceased was one of Nigeria’s finest journalists.
General Manager, Publication/Editor-in-Chief of Vanguard, Mr Gbenga Adefaye, described Jason as a Nigerian who dreamt excellence and a wholesome regeneration of our nation.
Vanguard Editor, Mr Mideno Bayagbon, said the late veteran journalist embodied “the best in journalism.”
Dele Adetiba said Jason had a way with words.
A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Reuben Abati, said, “I am sorry to hear of the death of Pini Jason, a very decent man. His attitude to life was always positive. He wrote columns that were set apart by their clarity, thoughtfulness, sound knowledge and commitment to public good. We have lost another true defender of the people’s interests. He will be sorely missed by the Nigerian media family, and particularly his numerous readers. My best wishes to his family”.
Obi, who spoke from the US, said the death of Jason was one death in which part of him died. The governor described the deceased as one of the finest journalists who earned respect through hard work.
He condoled with the Imo State governor, the pen fraternity and his family, and prayed God to grant Jason eternal rest.
Adefaye said: “Chief Pini Jason Onyegbadue, was that indelible part of the Vanguard character who worked for a better Nigeria with every talent in him before his death yesterday. An unpretentious humanist, you always knew where you stood with Pini. Fair, broadminded as he was analytical, Pini was the Nigerian who dreamt excellence and a wholesome regeneration of our nation even as we are hunted by pettiness, ethnicity and cronyism. He will be sorely missed even as Vanguard may find it difficult to replace him. Rest in peace Chief and may your dream for Nigeria come through.”
In his own tribute, Bayagbon said: “It seems so unbelievable that Pini Jason, one of the most lucid voices in our quest for a greater Nigeria and indeed a greater Africa, is dead. Just like that? It shows how ephemeral life is, how illogical our inordinate materialistic ambitions are. Pini embodied the best in journalism. At the Vanguard family, we will sorely miss his friendly but matured voice and humaneness”.
Adetiba, in a statement, said, “This is a big shock. Jason had a way with words. Beyond words, he had a progressive mind but zero ego. He was incredibly courteous almost to the point of deference. Pity, we just lost a 32-carat gentleman”.
Jason was a special adviser to a former governor of Imo State, Ikedi Ohakim.