The Nigerian rank of writers has been depleted today with the death of a renowned columnist Gbolabo Ogunsanwo.
Reports indicate that a-yet-to-be-ascertained nature of ill-health which had rendered Ogunsanwo incapacitated for a while led to his death.
The renowed columnist and editor who died at 80, made history for selling the highest number of copies of any Sunday newspaper in the annals of the newspaper industry in Nigeria.
Glowing tributes from heavyweights in journalism and politics have begin to pour in for Ogunsanwo.
Former Governor of Ogun State and veteran journalist, Chief Olusegun Osoba reacting to the news said: “It’s most unfortunate. He was a dynamic and go-getter journalist; one of the greatest writers of his time. May his soul rest in perfect peace.”
For his part, former Minister of Transportation and a chieftain of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Ebenezer Babatope said: “I’m shocked. He was a true friend of mine. It’s a bad day for me. I’ve been down since I heard about the death of Gbolabo. It’s terrible. May his soul rest in peace.
“He made a tremendous contribution to the progress and development of Nigeria. Gbolabo was a true Nigerian. He loved his country. He wrote very well. He had a beautiful column, in the Sunday Times of old, called ‘Life with Gbolabo Ogunsanwo’. It was a very beautiful column he was writing at that time. Nobody can fault everything that Gbolabo Ogunsanwo did to aid the progress and development of Nigeria. We are all going to die; we are all getting old, but we should pray for the repose of the soul of Gbolabo Ogunsanwo. We pray that God should bless his soul and bless his memories.”
“He was informed, daring and impressionistic, weaving words and sentences to paint pictures and drive home his points which often did with severity, sometimes humour.”
Uthman Shodipe-Dosumu, a former editor at the Daily Times also reacting to the passage of the renowned satirist said: “I write with hesitation, with a stricken heart, with a sore that may never heal, with a void that will never be occupied. Journalism has lost a great man. I have lost a guide, a mentor and an unfailing shepherd. Pastor Gbolabo Ogunsanwo, a giant in all significations has passed on. I must rest here.”
Also joining in paying glowing tributes, founding member and pioneer Associate Editor of The Guardian Newspaper, Mr. Lade Bonuola said, “The departure of my editor, my colleague and friend came to me as a rude shock. I was to learn later today that unknown to me he had been incapacitated by ill-health for a while. I did not know because he had been out of the radar for a while. The last time we met, he said he was shuttling between South Africa and Nigeria on pastoral assignments.
“Gbolabo was good. He loved journalism with passion; with all his heart and it showed that he put his heart into the business, into his assignment. He was a great editor and was in his elements writing his column, Life with Gbolabo. He read everything in print that came his way. He was informed, daring and impressionistic, weaving words and sentences to paint pictures and drive home his points which often did with severity, sometimes humour.
“He had no place for cant and humbug. His was a compelling read every Sunday. He thus became a celebrated columnist with a huge following. He sold the highest number of copies of any Sunday newspaper in the annals of the newspaper industry in Nigeria. He was missed on the beat for so long, and now permanently. May he receive help on his path of further experiencing in the Beyond–in this Creation of the Lord.”