Kola Animasaun buried in Lagos, as President Buhari, Sultan of Sokoto, Gen. Tajudeen Olanrewaju, others mourn

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Widow of late Baobab Tree of Journalism, Alhaji Kola Animasaun, Modupe, daughters: Yemi, right, and Seun, left, as burial procession commenced in Lagos Thursday 30 May 2019.

*Nigerian Media Communities, MMPN shocked

Ace writer, veteran journalist, columnist and a former Chairman, Editorial Board of the Vanguard Newspapers, Alhaji Muslim Kola Animasaun, who died after Fajr (dawn) of Thursday 30 May 2019, has been buried.

He was buried 2pm after afternoon prayers amidst expressions of shocks and pains as sorrowful looking sympathizers thronged the New Muslim Cemetery, Markaz, Agege, Lagos to pay their last respect to the fallen baobab of the Nigerian Journalism.  Animasaun was aged 80.

Reacting to Animasaun’s death, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, said the late author columnist, author particularly of book, titled, ‘Voice of Reason’ “Alhaji Animasaun will be long remembered and honoured for the rich and elucidating write-ups in the ”Voice of Reason” column he leaves behind; the many literary works he authored as well as the array of media professionals he trained and mentored on the ethics of the noble pen profession.”

As a distinguished member of the Fourth Estate of the Realm who was largely recognized and admired by colleagues as a consummate professional, President Buhari, according to a presidential statement issued and signed on his behalf by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, “pays tribute to the late veteran’s contributions to the development of journalism in the country.”

The President prayed Almighty Allah to grant eternal rest to the soul of the departed Animasaun and comfort his family and all who mourn.

To the Sultan of Sokoto and Amirul Mu’mineen of Nigeria, the death of Kola Animasaun, whom he addressed as Baba Adinni during the deceased’s lifetime, came as a rude shock.

The Sultan, who received the news not too long from when the late So’tofaye of Aiyede Ekiti Kingdom died, has since monitored events as they unfolded, even as he announced it to the Sultanate Council meeting where he prayed for the repose of the former diplomat in Aljannah.

In his own reaction, former Minister of Communications, Major General Tajudeen Olanrewaju, who spoke from his Atlanta home in United States of America, displayed serious unexplainable pains.

General Olanrewaju, who called Animasaun ‘Brother’, said: “Sorry to hear from you the death of Alhaji Kola Animasaun, a patriot, genuine Muslim and kind hearted.”

The former General Officer Commanding Three Division Nigerian Army said: “His (Kola Animasaun’s) death is a big loss to humanity.  The country has lost an erudite journalist, his genre are few; irreplaceable, my thoughts are with the family.

“I will miss his tremendous and useful advice. May the Almighty Allah accept his soul in Fridous,” Olanrewaju said.

In a second reaction in one day, General Olanrewaju said: “I would ever remain grateful to Alhaji Kola Animasaun for the steadfast support he gave me during and after the Special Military Tribunal.  He used his column to plead with the Obasanjo, Jonathan and Buhari Governments to grant us full State Pardon.  Even though his objective was not realized till now, I am eternally grateful for his concern,” Olanrewaju said.

Lagos NUJ reacts

Also reacting to Animasaun’s death, Chairman, Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ, in Lagos State, Dr. Qasim Akinreti said: “Dear colleagues. With deep heart, I announced the death of our our fathers in The Journalism profession, a first class Journalist, Columnist, trainer and mentor Alhaji Muslim Kola Animasaun I visited him at home yesterday night (of 29 May) in company of two journalists. I held his hand and prayed for him. I am glad he lived a fulfilled life. My condolence goes to the entire Vanguard chapel family and NUJ Lagos council at large. We lost a rear gem in the industry.”

MMPN mourns Animasaun

Also commiserating with the Animasaun family, the leadership of the Muslim Media Practitioners of Nigeria, MMPN, said the late columnist “bestrode firmament of Nigerian media landscape as a colossus and inspired in us the virtues of dedication, excellence and forthrightness in journalism.”

In a statement by its National President and state chairman, Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Balogun and Alhaji Kabir Alabi Garba respectively, MMPN said the late Animasaun “played a frontline role in the formation and sustainability of our association.”

The statement reads in part: “His skill as a journalist and public opinion moulder shone brightly in his weekly column, Voice of Reason in the Vanguard, as his style as simple as it is, is very compelling, making journalism attractive for us as an influential calling.

“In his death, the nation has lost a true voice of reason who intervenes with his lucid and informed commentaries at critical times in the life of the nation.

“We are comforted that our doyen in journalism departed on a beautiful note, in the glorious month of Ramadan and during the last ten days when Muslims globally become more dedicated in ibaadaat in the search for the night of majesty – Lailatulqadr.”

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