Osoba, Gbajabiamila, Fayemi, NGE, Others Pay Tribute to Momoh

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Olawale Ajimotokan, Udora Orizu in Abuja, Peter Uzoho in Lagos, Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti and Ibrahim Oyewale in Lokoja

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila; Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; Kogi State Governor, Mr. Yahaya Bello; former Governor of Ogun State, Mr. Segun Osoba; Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), and the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, yesterday paid tributes to former Minister of Information and veteran journalist, Mr. Tony Momoh, who died on Monday.

Osoba, who is also chairman, Governing Council of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), joined the Nigerian media and political class to mourn the passing of former minister.

In his condolence message, he said Nigeria has lost a consummate journalist.

Osoba described Momoh as a strong and powerful member of the intellectuals in the media, adding: “Great Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe gave him the sobriquet ‘Lawyer-Journalist’ and he lived up to the nickname.”

According to the former governor, the former minister was serious-minded, deep in his thoughts and writings, through which he left an indelible mark in the media world.

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Lanre Lasisi, the speaker said Momoh would be remembered for his selfless service to his fatherland.

Gbajabiamila said the APC chieftain was one Nigerian who contributed immensely to the development of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the country.

The speaker sent his condolences to Momoh family and the people and Government of Edo State, praying that God would give them the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss, even as he prayed for eternal rest for his soul.

The speaker also commiserated with Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa over the demise of her mother, Alhaja Sadiat Erogbogbo.

Fayemi in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Yinka Oyebode, described Momoh as a prince of many parts, who started his career as a journalist at the Daily Times, rose to the position of editor and later general manger of the newspaper, before serving as minister of Information.

He said the elder statesman excelled in all his professional endeavours and made remarkable impacts when he eventually embraced partisan politics, becoming the national chairman of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), one of the major political parties that metamorphosed into APC, and as a respected leader of the party and a major supporter of the government till he breathed his last.

In a condolence message released by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Onogwu Muhammed, the governor of Kogi State described Momoh’s death as a great loss to the media industry in particular and the nation at large.

According to him, the death coming a few weeks after the sad incident of another media guru, Mr. Sam Nda-Isaiah, is one death too many for the Nigerian media.

The governor said that the late journalist would be remembered for his forthrightness and bluntness in speaking truth to power especially as it concerns the overall good of the nation.

NGE in a statement issued yesterday by its National President, Mr. Mustapha Isah, and General Secretary, Ms. Mary Atolagbe, NGE said Momoh’s death came less than one week after the guild lost one of its fellows, a former Director-General of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Mr. Ben Egbuna, to the cold hands of death.

The statement described Momoh as a fellow of the guild, a lawyer, politician, author and a former minister of Information and Culture.

“Prince Momoh is a recipient of many honours, including fellowships of the Commonwealth Journalists’ Association, the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, and the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria,” it said, adding: “Undoubtedly, Prince Momoh was a distinguished elder statesman, a patriot and a nationalist of the first order. He will be greatly missed by the guild, the entire Nigerian media industry and the country at large.”
Ngige also paid a glowing tribute to Momoh, disclosing that he played a pivotal role in the choice of Buhari’s running in 2015.

According to him, “His death has brought to an end, a beautiful chapter in defining national ideals.”
A statement issued yesterday from Ngige’s Media Office expressed shock at the passing on of the elder statesman, describing it as a colossal loss to the nation.

“I spoke with Momoh nearly a week ago on his upcoming birthday, but incapable of seeing through the plans of the maker of mankind! His was a long trajectory of excellence in professional journalism and deft, patient and principled political undertakings,” he said.

Mohammed lamented the death of Momoh, who was one of his predecessors.

In a statement issued yesterday, he said Momoh’s demise has robbed Nigeria of a rare patriot and a respected elder statesman.

The information minister expressed his profound shock at the death, noting that Momoh, in his lifetime, worked tirelessly with many like him for the merger of parties that gave birth to the APC.

”To ensure the success of the new party, Prince Momoh and his colleagues from the other merging parties ensured that the parties were not just dissolved, but also that their registration certificates were returned to INEC, which then cancelled them,” he said.