The former Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Dame Felicia Oluwaremilekun Oyo, has died in the United Kingdom, where she was receiving treatment for a cancer related ailment, her husband, Vincent Oyo, announced in a statement.The former media adviser to former president Olusegun Obasanjo, according to her husband, had looked forward to her 62nd birthday on October 12 with her family before death struck.
Dame Oyo was a seasoned journalist who began her journalism career in 1973 in the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) now known as the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN).
She later joined the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) as a Desk Editor in 1981, and left in 1985 as a Principal Editor, the first woman to attain such a high position in the agency.
Thereafter, she joined the Inter Press Service News Agency (IPS) as the Nigerian Bureau Chief and later, became the international news agency’s West African Bureau Chief.
Having first served as Secretary of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), Dame Oyo was elected president of the Guild for two consecutive tenures from 1999 to 2003. She was the first woman to be so honoured. She was Fellow of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM), and the Nigerian Institute of Public Administrators.
She is survived by her husband, Vincent, children, grand-children and siblings – Sunday Oke and Yomi Oke.
She was a trail-blazer – Jonathan
Bemoaning her death, President Goodluck Jonathan described Remi Oyo, as a trail-blazer in her journalism career, a presidential spokeswoman as well as an administrator in her days at NAN.
Jonathan, through his Media Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, said he received with immense sadness, news of the passing away of Oyo, whom he described as one of the most eminent Nigerian female journalists.
On behalf of his family and the Federal Government, President Jonathan extended sincere condolences to Oyo’s husband, Vincent, her children, Otome and Okiemuote, her surviving siblings and other relatives.
A thoroughbred professional – Obasanjo
Former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, described Oyo as a thoroughbred professional. In a condolence message to the bereaved husband, Vincent, the former president said: “It is with a profound sadness and heaviness of heart that I write, on behalf of my family and on my own behalf, to commiserate with you and the entire members of your family over the passing of your beloved wife, mother and grandmother, Oluremi Oyo.
Obasanjo stated that through her distinguished public service as his Senior Special Assistant on Media, while he was President between 1999 and 2007, Remi earned the recognition and admiration of many of her compatriots across the length and breadth of Nigeria.
An icon of perfection –Obanikoro
The Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, in a statement he signed, described the late Oyo as, “an icon of perfection, service and integrity. She served Nigeria with great diligence and commitment. “When she was director-general of NAN, she brought to bear on the job, her passion for public service and built an institution that became renowned for efficiency and professionalism.”
She was a foremost journalist – Obi
The former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi has commiserated with the family of Dame Remi Oyo, the NGE and the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) over the death of Remi Oyo.
Obi, who described Remi Oyo as a foremost journalists, said she plied her trade with urbanity, objectivity and maturity, thus teaching the younger ones the need to be guided by the ethics of the profession at all times. Obi appealed to the current President of the Guild of Editors, Mr. Femi Adesina to take heart over the misfortune of death visiting some of their members, saying that “God knows best and would not be questioned.”
A great loss to us – Fayemi
Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, described the death of the former presidential spokesperson, as a great loss to the state and Nigeria as a whole.
The governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Olayinka Oyebode, described Mrs. Oyo’s death as a bitter pill to swallow at this critical period in the history of the state and the country.
Her contributions to journalism priceless – NAN
NAN said Oyo’s invaluable records in the field of journalism cannot be surpassed.
In a statement signed by the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of NAN, Olorogun Ima Niboro, the agency mourned with her family even as it prayed that her kind and gentle soul rest in the bosom of the Lord.
She smashed the ceiling journalism – Senate
The Senate yesterday, described Oyo’s death as shocking. Senate spokesman, Enyinnaya Abaribe, in a statement, recalled Oyo’s contributions to media development, particularly her pivotal role in revolutionising news gathering through wire services as exemplified in her sterling performance in NAN as its managing director.
“The Senate is really shocked! Her loss is another blow to the media industry in Nigeria.”
NGE mourns Oluremi Oyo
The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) in a statement signed by its Secretary-General, Isaac Ighure, extolled the leadership qualities of the late Oyo, its first female president.
“Oyo will long be remembered by the NGE for her exemplary leadership qualities, which brought the Guild out of a near comatose state, with about 200 members and transformed it into a vibrant association of senior editors with more than 400 members.
“Her tenure as the NGE president marked a new beginning for the Guild and laid a solid foundation for its transformation into a force to be reckoned with in the country.
“Oyo was elected President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors and served for two consecutive terms from 1999 to 2003. She had also served first as secretary of the NGE, the professional body of editors running the country’s media industry.
The NGE commiserated with her family, NAN, the country’s journalists and the nation at large, noting that these are, indeed, hard times for the Nigerian media, as only recently it lost two other illustrious and thoroughbred journalists, Dimgba Igwe of The Sun Newspapers and Mike Akpan of Realnews Magazine.
A huge loss to the media -Amosun
Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun described Oyo’s death as a big loss to journalism and the media industry in general. In a statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Media, Mrs. Olufunmilayo Wakama, the governor expressed shock at the sudden death of the veteran journalist.
Oshiomhole mourns Remi Oyo
Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has commiserated with the President, Nigerian Guild of Editors over the death of a former president of the Guild, Mrs Remi Oyo in a London hospital.
In a condolence message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Peter Okhiria, Oshiomhole said: “Mrs Oyo’s death is a sad loss not only to her family, the Guild of Editors, the media industry but to the entire nation which she served with vigour and forthrightness.
“Remi Oyo was a dedicated journalist who gave her all for the growth of journalism and from my interactions with her, she came to me as a detribalized Nigerian who had deep passion for her country.
“I offer my profound condolence and the commiseration of the good people and Government of Edo State on this sad incident.
Remi Oyo left indelible footprints in Nigeria’s history – Uduaghan
Delta State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, has expressed regrets at the death of former Presidential Spokeswoman, Mrs. Oluremi Oyo, stating that she left indelible footprints in the history of Nigeria.
In a statement by Felix Ofou, his Press Secretary, the governor said the late Mrs. Oyo would be remembered for her pioneering role as a journalist, editor, media manager, community leader and ultimately, as spokeswoman of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Dr. Uduaghan pointed out that she excelled in various roles assigned to her as a thoroughbred professional culminating in being elected the first female president of the NGE.
He applauded the simplicity, poise and humility with which she executed tasks assigned to her, ensuring that the media remained a pillar that could not be ignored.
She was an iconic journalist -NAWOJ
The Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) described the late Oyo as an iconic journalist.
In a statement signed by the national president, Ifeyinwa Omowole, NAWOJ described Oyo as a journalist that set precedence for women journalists to emulate.
Source: The Sun