The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) and the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) have expressed shock and sadness over the death yesterday of a former Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Abia State, Mr. Bonnie Iwuoha.
A former president of the NUJ and Fellow of NGE, Mr. Iwuoha died yesterday evening in Umuahia, Abia State.
In statement on Tuesday signed by the NGE’s President Mustapha Isah and the General Secretary, Iyobosa Uwugiaren, the professional body of all the editors in Nigeria described the death of Iwuoha as ‘’devastating, painful and huge loss’’ to the Guild and journalism profession in Nigeria.
The NGE stated: “Mr. Bonnie Iwuoha was a committed Fellow of the Nigerian Guild of Editors. He served in various committees, and was the chairman of the Electoral Committee of NGE on several occasions, including our last convention in May 2021 in Kano. His last outing in the Guild’s activities, was the All Nigeria Editors Conference (ANEC) in Abuja two months ago, where he was a discussant at the conference.
‘’This was typical of him: He never missed any of our activities. He was a man of deep conviction, honest, very principled and lively.
“Just last week, the former President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) called some Standing Committee’s members of NGE, including the President and the General Secretary, to discuss the affairs of the Guild.
‘’He said he was very proud of the present leadership of NGE, and advised us to keep up the good work and never to relent. That was how dear our professional body was to Mr. Iwuoha.
“He was an accomplished administrator, unionist and humanist – who struggled for over three decades to improve the welfare of journalists in the country.’’
While commiserating with members of the NGE, friends, his immediate family, the government and the people of Abia State, the Guild prays the Almighty God to give his loved ones the fortitude to bear the immeasurable loss.
It said, ‘’If the earth that will cover Mr Bonnie Iwuoha will be light it is because he represented humanity, love and kindness while he lived.
‘’We will miss Mr. Iwuoha greatly. As a mark of honour, the NGE has opened a condolence register at our Secretariat in Ikeja, Lagos. Fare Thee Well, Comrade Bonnie Iwuoha.’’
In its condolence, the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) described Mr. Iwuoha as “a Preacher and Minister of the Gospel,” who served as National President of the union from 1996-1997.
It noted that he was a former Managing Editor/Head of Editorial Department, Daily Times of Nigeria, 1991-93, Media Adviser to the Governor of Abia State and Abia State Commissioner of Information.
In a statement, NUJ National President, Mr. Chris Isiguzo, said: “A very committed member of the NUJ, Mr Bonnie Iwuoha had been very passionate about the Union and journalism and he dedicated his time and energy towards building a better Union and enhancing the practice of the profession.
“In 2003, he participated as member of the NUJ National Registration Council together with the late Prince Tony Momoh and others, to produce the first ever Compendium of Journalists in Nigeria.”
The Union directed all the 36 State Councils and the FCT to open condolence registers in the name of the deceased leader while a three-day mourning period has been declared by the Union from Tuesday, December 28-Thursday, December 30, 2021.
“We extend our condolences to his immediate family and to the journalism fraternity and pray that God Almighty will ease the pains of his sudden departure,” Mr. Isiguzo said.