A former sports correspondent with THISDAY, Olajide Fashikun is dead. He died yesterday after a brief illness. He was aged 54.
Samuel Fashikun, younger brother to Olajide, revealed that his brother had suffered partial stroke before he was hurriedly taken to the hospital where he spent over one week.
He confirmed that the family would soon meet and spell out the burial plans.
Fashikun’s partner in the Nigeria Sports Development Fund Inc. initiated
to raise funds for athletes to prepare for five sports at the 2020 Olympics, Mary Onyali-Omagbemi also confirmed his death.
He was an ex-international handball player and a stakeholder in all sports.
In swift reactions to Fashikun’s death yesterday, Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung, expressed deep shock over his demise.
“It is a very sad day for sports journalists and athletes in the country.
“Jide created a platform to support athletes and stimulate performance through his mobilization of training funds to assist athletes. This made us look forward to a better podium performance in the years ahead.
Today, the curtains have been drawn on that project.
“Jide was a dedication journalist who went far to uphold the truth. He was a fighter, fearless, thorough and an epitome of investigative journalism while contributing immensely to grassroots sports development .
I pray that God will receive him and give his wife and family the fortitude to bear this loss.”
Similarly, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) prayed that God Almighty will grant the soul of Fashikun eternal rest in His bosom, and also grant those he has left behind including his immediate family the fortitude to bear the great loss.
SWAN President, Honour Sirawo, who just returned from 82nd AIPS General Congress, held in Lausanne, Switzerland, equally received the news of his exit with shock.
“I never imagined what I’m hearing. It’s unbelievable to hear that Jide is no more. I met with him in December when he shared his vision on how he intended to bring his wealth of experience to bear in handling the task the National SWAN choose him for. I’m deeply pained. May his soul rest in peace.”
The Guild of Sports Editors has described Jide Fashikun’s demise as a huge blow to the country’s quest for sports development, as well as the push for a new Nigeria.
Reacting to the death of the investigative reporter, Guild of Sports Editors’ President, Tony Ubani said Fashikun’s demise could not have come at a worse period in Nigeria’s sports development.
“Fashikun was devoted to the development of Nigeria’s sports industry of which he gave his all, as a handballer, an athlete and a journalist.
“Although many people did not like his methods, Fashikun was unrelenting in his quest for a better Nigeria, a disposition which often brought him at loggerheads with the establishment,” Ubani noted.
Fashikun was a one-time Chairman of the Kwara State Chapter of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, Sports Editor of the Herald newspaper, Managing Editor of Gong News, a senior Sports correspondent at THISDAY and a former lecturer at Kwara Polytechnic.