Barrister Solomon Dalung has expressed deep shock at the death of one of Nigeria’s foremost investigative reporters Olajide Fashikun, who died early Sunday 27th January 2019 at the Federal Medical Centre Jabi, Airport Road Abuja.
The Minister of Youth and Sports lamented the death, describing the loss as colossal to Journalism and the Sports industry.
He said, “It is a very sad day for sports journalists and athletes in the country. Jide created a platform to support athletes and stimulate performance through his mobilization of training funds to assist athletes. This made us look forward to a better podium performance in the years ahead. Today, the curtains have been drawn on that project.”
Barrister Dalung paid glowing tribute to the publisher of Gong News who excelled not only in sports reportage but also politics and investigative writing.
Also, The President of Nigeria Volleyball Federation, Engineer Musa Nimrod has extended his condolences over the passing of the former multi-sport athlete, Olajide Fashikun.
Nimrod wrote: “We have learned with great dismay and immense sadness the passing away of Director General of Nigeria Sports development Fund Initiative (NSDFI) today. This is a big loss to the sporting family including journalists in Nigeria.
He said: “The Volleyball family are extremely saddened by the news of the former Volleyball, Handball, Basketball and Baseball player passing away, a fine journalist and a gentleman for whom we have a lot respect.’’
Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), FCT Chapter has expressed deep grief over the sudden death of its veteran Practitioner, Olajide Fashikun who died in the early hours of Sunday, aged 54.
Chairman of the Association, Comrade Ndubueze Chidoka who cut short his time at Church service, could barely speak immediately the shocking News was broken to him.
He immediately rushed to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Abuja where the late journalist had received treatment before he was deposited at the Mortuary, located within same hospital premise.
Chidoka eventually muttered, “I lack words to describe Jide who was committed to both his job and the service of his colleagues through SWAN. His legacies as long as Journalism is concerned can’t be forgotten in a hurry.
“What more can I say if not to pray God who knows and sees everything to give his family, Sports Writers, the entire Media Practitioners and the entire sporting world the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss.”
Popularly known as Dudu-dudu Dara, Fashikun who died while receiving treatment at Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Abuja was the Publisher of a popular online stable, Gongnews.com.
Samuel Fashikun, younger brother to Olajide, who briefed the leadership of Abuja SWAN on how former Sports Editor with ThisDay and Herald Newspapers passed on revealed that Jide had suffered partial stroke before he was hurriedly taken to the hospital where he spent over one week.
He confirmed that the family would soon meet and spell out the burial plans.
SWAN President, Comrade Honour Sirawo who just returned from 82nd AIPS General Congress, held in Lausanne, Switzerland, equally received the news of his exit with shock saying, “I never imagined what I’m hearing. It’s unbelievable to hear that Jide is no more. I met with him in December when he shared his vision on how he intended to bring his wealth of experience to bear in handling the task the National SWAN choose him for. I’m deeply pained. May his soul rest in peace.”
Aside the leadership and members of SWAN who were at the hospital/mortuary, Technical Director of Nigeria Taekwondo Federation and Olympian Chika Chukwumerije and Olympic Medallist, Mary Onyali were among early callers at FMC.
Fashikun who died at the age of 54, won a gold medal at African Nations Cup, Lagos-Nigeria 1980, gold medal at African Nations Cup, Bauchi 1984; gold medal at NIPOGA 1985 in Kaduna; bronze medal at Nigeria Universities Games Association (NUGA) in 1988 in Calabar; gold medal of NUGA 1998 in Kano