“Death is a necessary end , it will come when it will come” – Willams Shakespeare.
The scriptures were also clear in their submissions “ Every soul shall taste death “ .Yoruba proverbs crown it all “ Awaye Malo kan osi . okokan lawaye , okokan lama Lô”. Literally translated, “Everyone will die. Everyone shall leave this world one after the other “.
And so , for Baba Dele Odebiyi, Saturday 28th year 2020, was his last day on earth. In the last two months Baba Odebiyi has fondly called ,battled with death with various ageing health challenges. Each time he survived, he will gently attended the Congress of the union to share his thoughts with me .
Passionate about Journalism and The Union
Baba Odebiyi’s passion for Journalism was extra – ordinary. He writes profusely on his regular column in the Daily Times Newspapers, served as a Reporter, Sub Editor ,News Editor and Editor Of “The Headlines”. More importantly,his footprints on “The Headlines “ one of the Daily Times titles was emphatic.
As a Journalism teacher at defunct Time Journalism Institute, Lagos , Baba Odebiyi gave his best. His students dotted the media landscape.
The survival of the Nigerian Union Of Journalists, NUJ has been his utmost priority. He was a core Unionist, a leader and mentor for all us. He remained an encyclopedia of the NUJ. My late mentor led the Lagos NUJ at one of the most difficult times of the union. Cool , calm and calculated , Late Dele Odebiyi served as the Chairman Of The Lagos council with candor , panache and integrity. For these virtues in leadership, he always summoned me at intervals to give advice and direction. Surely, I will miss his wise counsel.
As an intellectual resource, I had the privilege of working with him to write a book on Baba Lateef Kayode Jakande. He edited the entire book and offered to do another review of the book when time permits. But that certainly will not be. It is instructive that Baba has willed his books and audio materials to the Union’s new library. Some of them were collected before his death.
The Lagos council is still owning his Book Committee some part payments. I started offsetting these payments last year. Certainly, the union will pay the remaining debts to the Book Committee and send his share to his family.
At the NUJ National level, our late father participated in all National Delegates Conferences and was reputed to be one of the wisemen who reworked the present constitution of the union. Despite his health challenges, Baba Odebiyi came to meet the National President Chris Iziguzor during his official tour at the Vanguard Newspapers for a chat. He presented a book to the president.
The journalism profession has again lost one of his shinning stars’ and the union significantly lost a devoted and committed member.
Adieu Baba Dele Odebiyi. Good Night Sir.
Chairman NUJ Lagos state Council