The news came like wild fire.As I opened my phone a little past 3pm Sunday having spent longer time in the Church,I had expected that deluge of pleasant and no so pleasant news would’ve been waiting for me.
Yes,bad news is good news but definitely I was not expecting the kind of bad news I received Sunday June 25, 2023.
As I opened my friends Lekan Otufodunrin who was by then far away in Washington,the first line of his posting jolted me. It jolted me because,I never expected that such will come so soon.
Alas death came calling for an erudite scholar,a teacher, mentor and easily one of the leading teacher of communication in Nigeria in the past four decades.
Since I met Professor Lai Oso,as one of my earliest teachers at the then Ogun state Polytechnic Abeokuta, I have never had any doubt in my mind that the country had a scholar, teacher, mentor and journalist who not only taught journalism but has passed through the four walls of the newsroom as a newshound.
As a young lecturer who just left the newsroom and classroom, the passion with which he took his job especially as one of the pioneer academic staff of the then Department of Mass Communication,Ogun state Polytechnic was second to only that of another great journalist and teacher,the late Professor Femi Sonaike who also passed on a decade ago.
Professor Sonaike as then pioneer Head of Department was as enthusiastic at moulding us young students and future journalists as a teacher moulding little children in nursery school.
Then, Dr Oso as a young lecturer provided the energy,zest, youthfulness and zeal to mould us and shape our nose for news and analysis . His classes especially while taken us in World and African politics course was as interesting as a young man entering a news studio for the first time. He was as versatile as versatile will be and remain so till death snatched him away in the course of his over four decades as a communication scholar.
What is more,he was returning from an academic trip to supervise one of his numerous Doctor of Philosophy students,PHD in Delta state when the sad end came.
But Death why art thou wicked!
You took the good and left behind the wicked to roam the world.
That you roam the world terminating life’s of Icons bent on reproducing themselves both in the classroom and in the newsrooms is lamentable.
But as Shakespeare said,”Death is a necessary end,it will come when it will come. Gbogbo wa la dagbada iku. Oluwa ko fi ori Iku jin enikan.
Professor Oso have had the distinction of producing hundreds of schorlars , talents both in the print media,broadcast stations and the boardroom of various multinational and international organisations where you also constantly lend your expertise over the years.
Hardly will you enter any newsroom of first generation newspapers,mass communication departments of various universities without meeting products of Osos schorlaly contribution to knowledge and journalism profession.
That at his age,he could endure the pain of road travel in our decayed country to supervise doctorate students shows the undying passion he has to reproduce himself in the academia.
For over forty years,Professor Oso,current President Association of Communication Scholars and Professions,ACSP, traversed the academic world where his footprints in schorlaship will be hard to fill.
I still remember vividly how you led the three- day training workshop which my company organised for the Correspondent Chapel of the Lagos state government,LAGOCO and the ever refreshing knowledge both the journalists,teachers and career civil servants took home.
A personal loss for me as a teacher,mentor, friend and a giant in his chosen career.
There is no doubt you’ve left a big vacuum both in academia both among the communication scholars difficult to fill for a very long time.
Should we say the demands for your cup of deep knowledge contributed to your avoidable death.?
But then man must live for something .
You came,saw conquered and left a Vacuum.
Adieu dear Prof!
Source: NEW DAWN
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