The Oyo State Correspondent of ThisDay newspaper, Tunde Sanni, is dead. The late Sanni, 49, is survived by a wife and eight children.
Sanni, a devout muslim died on Thursday at Ijebu Imodi, Ogun State, after a prolonged illness and has since been buried according to Islamic rites.
Reports have it that Sanni took ill four months ago and was hospitalised at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, where he spent about one month. After his discharge from the hospital, he returned to his home town of Ijebu Imodi where he spent his last days.
Sanni a 1986 graduate of Mass Communication, Ogun State Polytechnic (Now Moshood Abiola Polytechnic) Abeokuta started his journalism career in mid-80s, working at the defunct Sketch newspaper and PUNCH before joining ThisDay.
Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi has described the death of the journalist as highly unfortunate and disheartening.
In a statement in Ibadan on Thursday by his Special Adviser, Festus Adedayo, the governor said he received the news of Sanni’s death with shock and disbelief.
“He was a thorough professional with high sense of responsibility and commitment. Sanni would be remembered for upholding the ethics of the profession and for his analytical mind which reflected in his various write-ups,” Ajimobi said.
Sakibu Olokojobi, the late Sanni’s coursemate and deputy editor, Saturday Mirror Newspapers wrote on his facebook wall: “So sad, but Tunde Sanni, rest in perfect peace.
“Very sad. May God forgive his sins and bless him with Aljana Firdaos. He was a quintessential devout muslim. Right from our days in school, he dedicated everything to his creator. Since he fell ill he stopped sending some soul lifting and illuminating messages to me on Friday.
“Even when my wife does not know him in person, she was familiar with his messages. Each time the messages came in, I would tell her that it was from that my friend, Tunde Sanni. I’ve missed those messages that often times woke me up at about 4.30 or 5.00 a.m.
“I had thought that he would get better and begin to send those healthy religious messages again, but here we are with the news of his death. Tunde, I’m very positive about you. May God forgive your soul and bless you forever as you rest in peace. Igi to to ki i pe n’igbo. Rest in perfect peace. Goodnight my friend. Sleep well, Tunde.”
Another coursemate and friend of Sanni, Wasiu Sodeinde wrote on his facebook page: “O Allah, forgive Tunde Sanni. Make him among the guided ones, raise his status and be his deputy among the grieving. O Lord of the two worlds, forgive us and him and make his grave wide and full of light”.
“I am very sad to learn about the news of your untimely death, Tunde. The last time I spoke with you after your discharge from the University College Hospital, Ibadan, you told me everything was fine.
“Even when we, your classmates sent two of our mates: one from US and the other from Nigeria to visit with you, we thought God has finally answered our prayers when one of them had to accompany you out of the hospital on the day of your discharge.
“Tunde, I’m still short of words, even as I write, my thoughts are very disjointed! But I do have the consolation in the fact that you were a great believer. We didn’t want this to happen again! not just few months after we lost two mates in succession, but who are we to question the Almighty? He is the One that knows best!
“…….I’m not sure if this is the right thing to do, but I will like to use this opportunity to call on the Nigerian Union of Journalists (Tunde was the Chairman, Correspondence Chapel NUJ, Oyo State) to please help put pressures on Nduka Obaigbenna, the Chairman of Thisday Newspapers to please pay all the necessary entitlements to Tunde’s family.
“Tunde Sanni was a pioneer member of Thisday newspapers. A very hard working journalist who loved the pen profession with passion. He joined Thisday in 1995 and worked in various capacities as Kwara state correspondent for the newspaper.
“At the time of his death, he was the Oyo State correspondent. Tunde, didn’t have to rely on widow’s mite from friends and relatives to take care of his hospital bills at UCH after working so hard for one organization for more than 18 years at the senior level positions.
“But it is sad that Nigerian journalists are not always appreciated in-spite of the role they play in keeping the country going. I do know one thing however that if Tunde had been a banker or politician in Nigeria.
“He would have been able to afford making several tourist trips to US or UK to take care of himself in good hospitals with good medical facilities…It is sad my friend died as a victim of bad system! Sleep well my friend, sleep well Alfa Tunde Sanni!!!! — with Tunde Sanni.”