By Raphael Ekpang
Wednesday, February 10, 2021 would remain one of the dark days Sports journalists in the nation’s capital, Abuja will never pray to witness again in their lives. A day, a veteran but very active sports journalist, Olusegun Ogunjimi joined the saints without any premonition from any member of the FCT Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN).
The late Ogunjimi was not just a sports journalist, but a mentor to many young sports journalists both in Abuja and across the country; because he was a prolific writer whose command for words and ability to flow with others endeared many young ones and his contemporary to him.
Unfortunately I got the news of his demise a day after through the National Secretary of SWAN, Jude Opara who wanted to be sure I had recovered from the shock of the news of Ogunjimi’s death but unknown to him he broke a sad news to me which instantly struck me like a ‘thunderbolt’. Thank God for the opportunity to be able to put these words together for my very good friend, a senior colleague who paid his due in the pen profession before his demise.
I might not have the right adjective to describe him, ‘Baba Sege’ that was how I called him because to me, he was a senior colleague who deserved respect from his colleagues especially the younger ones like us. He was a jolly good fellow, a man who acknowledged every one’s importance role to his life
No wonder Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, the General Secretary of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) described him as “A veteran of the trade who learnt from the very best and imbibed and internalized the good old ethics and tenets of journalism.”
“We lost a very good friend. He was objective and unbiased in his journalism. He cross-checked and balanced his stories before reporting. May God be the guide to those he left behind,” Sanusi prayed
Also, the minister of youth and sports development, Mr. Sunday Dare described him as a highly professional, resourceful, humble and diligent. He noted that Ogunjimi was widely respected by colleagues, administrators and other stakeholders in the sector, and was a credible role model for aspiring newshounds.
“I received the news of Segun Ogunjimi’s death with utmost shock and sadness in my heart. He was not just a dedicated journalist, but someone I knew personally because of his zeal and commitment to the activities of the Ministry,” The minister said.
Also, the National SWAN secretary, Jude Opara described him as a man of peace, a man who was not egoistic, very humane and humble.
While, Chidoka Ndubueze, Chairman FCT Chapter of SWAN described him as a jovial, loyal and dedicated fellow who was full of life and excitement at all times.
‘Segun’ was an employee of the Nation newspaper and Sporting Life. His by-line at the papers on a daily basis was a delight to administrators because he must have exhibited the core value of journalism which is objective, despite the nature or how the story came to him.
‘Baba Sege’s last call to me was towards the end of January this year and it was how we could promote Ejike Ugboaja Foundation, a foundation that has taken over 2000 Nigerian youths off the streets of Nigeria through scholarship to school in the USA and play professional basketball to earn a living.
SWAN will miss you, sports administrators will also miss you but I will miss you greatly because you were like a brother to me and someone that believed so much in me.
Adieu.. Baba Sege jusqu’ à ce qu’il ne se sépare plus. Adieu mon bon ami.