Nigeria's Pioneer Pro-golfer, Oyebajo, Dies


Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja

One of the founding fathers of the Professional Golfers Association of Nigeria (PGAN) Jamiu Oyebajo is dead.

Oyebajo, who died on Tuesday, November 7 at the Lagos State Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) in Ikeja, few weeks to his 71st birthday and was buried yesterday in Lagos, according to Muslim rites.

His death occurred barely four months after the passage of Matthew Jacob, the first Director of PGAN.
Oyebajo was one of the four Nigerian caddies selected by Chief Anthony Enahoro and sponsored by Nigerian Tobacco Company (NTC) in 1968 for a professional training in England.

The others are Emmanuel Lawrence, Patrick Okpomu and Festus Makelemi.
A year later, they formed the PGAN along with their English instructor, John Nosworthy, with Jacob as the administrator. Oyebajo was the Resident Professional at Ikeja Golf Club.

Oyebajo captained West African team against Great Britain in the 1970s
He has trained and mentored several golfers and professional golfers across the country.

Some of the prominent people he taught the art of golf included the first Military Governor of Lagos State, Brigadier Mobolaji Johnson (rtd), Otunba Olusola Adekanola, Senator Akin Odunsi and Regular Professional Gboyega Oyebanji.

Known for his uprightness, Oyebajo was at different times a past Captain of the national team, former Head of Caretaker Committee and former Director of PGAN.

While reacting to the news of the death yesterday, present Director of the professional Golfers’ Association of Nigeria, Samson Lawal, said Oyebajo’s death was a big shock to the body.

“Jamiu had a strong character and lived his life for golf. His passion and strong leadership qualities were readily available for the association and individual members to tap free. He was perhaps, the most respected member of PGAN. We will miss him dearly,” mourned the PGAN director.