Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has expressed sadness over the death of his former spokesperson, Oluremi Oyo, who died Thursday.
Mrs. Oyo’s death in the United Kingdom, where she was receiving treatment for a cancer related ailment, was announced by her husband, Vincent Oyo.
Mrs. Oyo was a senior special assistant on media to Mr. Obasanjo while he was president.
She served as the Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, after Mr. Obasanjo left office in 2007.
In a condolence message, Mr. Obasanjo said her sudden demise left a sour taste in his mouth and was very painful.
The former president described the late journalist as a thorough-bred professional.
“Today, journalism has remained dominated by those who had been positively influenced, directly or indirectly by her great professional sagacity and integrity,” he said.
He added that Mrs. Oyo earned recognition and the admiration of many of her compatriots across the length and breadth of the country and gave her very best to the end in the service of her fatherland.
“She was not only dutiful, she was professional and loyal to the core. Not only loyal in terms of her job but loyal in terms of being a Nigerian. Her integrity was above board and on no account could you persuade her to do what she considered not to be right,” Mr. Obasanjo said.
“Ever resourceful, trustworthy and conducting herself with humility, Remi left an indelible mark in her national assignment at the Federal level, even as the Managing Director of News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, at some point.
“The finality of Remi’s passage is painful, especially as she still had a lot to contribute to her family she was highly devoted, her community and the entire nation, but we can draw solace that she lived a very responsible and caring life. Indeed, her manners and conduct while alive will continue to linger in our memory and serve as a source of inspiration.”
The former president extended heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family and prayed God Almighty to grant the family the fortitude to bear the loss.
In a similar vein, the Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, expressed sadness at the death of Mrs. Oyo.
In a statement, the governor said he was shocked at the sudden death of the veteran journalist. He described her death as a big loss to journalism in particular and the media industry in general.
“Dame Oyo was not only an icon of an ideal journalist but also a trailblazer in the pen profession who was well respected in the media world. I recall those days at the Villa, when I was a senator, I used to marvel at her energy and dedication to duty as senior special assistant on media and publicity to President Olusegun Obasanjo between 2003 and 2007′ Mrs. Amosun said.
“I used to wonder how a woman could keep up with such a strenuous job as the first female spokesperson to a president. As a reporter, editor and Nigerian bureau chief of Rome-based Inter Press Service News Agency, IPS, Remi Oyo, exhibited a passion for journalism, which made her attain greater heights, including election as the first female president of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, NGE, and subsequent appointment as the managing director of the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN.”