A former Acting Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Chief Jide Adebayo, is dead. Adebayo died in a Lagos hospital on Thursday at the age of 66 during a brief illness.
Retired Maj.-Gen. Lasisi Abidoye, a close friend of Adebayo, also the President of Omu-Aran Development Association (ODA), confirmed this in a statement on Friday in Omu-Aran, Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara.
Adebayo, until his death, was the Eesa of Omu-Aran, second-in-command to the traditional ruler of the community, which is equivalent to the position of Prime Minister of Omu-Aran.
He was Executive Director in charge of Marketing, one time Head of Lagos Operations, former Acting Managing Director of NAN, and a Commissioner for Information, Youth, Sports and Culture, Kwara State (1999).
Abidoye described Adebayo as “a fine journalist and a community leader per excellence”, who will be greatly missed.
“Chief Eesa was a promoter of peace and unbiased community leader. He was an epitome of a good leader, an honest and God-fearing fellow.”
Adebayo had his elementary education at the SIM/ECWA Primary School, Agamo, Omu-Aran from 1960 to 1968 and Secondary Education at Government Secondary School, Omu-Aran (1969 to 1973).
He had News Reporting Course Certificate of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), Lagos (1978); the University of Lagos, Unilag’s Diploma in Mass Communication (1979); International Diploma of the International Organisation of Journalism (ION) Julius Fucik School, Prague, Czech Republic (1987) and Masters Degree in
International Journalism (MAIJ) at the University of Cardiff, United Kingdom (UK) in 2004.
Adebayo began his journalism career with the Nigerian Herald Newspapers in Ilorin in 1974. He served the organization as a Proof Reader, Reporter, Senior Reporter, and City Editor in Ilorin, Kaduna, and Akure till August 1980, when he joined the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) as a Correspondent.
Adebayo held many editorial positions as Bureau Chiefs in Ilorin and Minna; Desk Editor (National News), Head of Sports Desk, Director of Marketing, Executive Director of Marketing/Lagos
Operations and later Acting Managing Director before his retirement in August 2015, after 35 years in service.
As an international journalist of repute, Adebayo covered many international assignments including the FIFA Under-21 World Cup in Saudi Arabia in 1989, Inter-Continental FIFA Championship in Saudi Arabia in 1995, FIFA World Cup in Paris in France, in 1998 and the Commonwealth Games in Manchester, the UK in 2002.
In the course of his journalism career, he visited many international media organizations in the U.S, UK, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Cairo, Zimbabwe, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, and South Africa before his installation as the Eesa of Omu-Aran on May 11, 2018.
Adebayo had received honorary chieftaincy titles of Otun Gbobaniyi of Omu-Aran (2003); Otunba Gbadero of Olla Land (2011) and Maiyegun of Ogidi Ijumu, Kogi (2014).
A Fellow of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (FNGE), Adebayo was General Secretary, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Kwara (1981 -1983) and Chairman NUJ, Niger (1985 -1987).
He was a two-term President of the Omu-Aran Social Club in the 80s. Adebayo had also served as Secretary-General and Director of Socials and Publicity of the Club.
He is survived by his wife, Alice Ifedun (nee Adeleye), and blessed with children and grandchildren.