A former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Rotimi Makinde, has condoled with the family and associates of the publisher of NewsDirect Newspaper, Mr Sam Ibiyemi, over his demise.
Makinde, in a statement made available to newsmen on Tuesday night said he received the news of Ibiyemi’s sudden death with heavy heart.
He described the late publisher as an accomplished journalist, entrepreneur and politician, adding that Ibiyemi’s foray into journalism and newspaper publishing boosted the success of the industry in Nigeria, particularly in the South West.
“The robust feat of my dear brother and an illustrious son of Ile-Ife, Dr Sam Ibiyemi, gave our dear region an edge, not only in national politics but global outreach. It also helped in providing employment for a large chunk of our unemployed youths.
“I want to use this opportunity to condole with his family, friends, colleagues, associates and mentees for this great loss,” he stated.
The Ife-born politician also commiserated with the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN) and all members of staff and contributors to NewsDirect Newspaper.
“Writing is an extreme privilege I am blessed with. It is also a God given gift that connects me to several people in life. It is a rare gift that made me belong to several profession. It is an uncommon gift that easily gave me out and perhaps as a vocal person, may be to a fault. The fact remains that I am never a palace jester.
“There are a thousand thoughts lying within a man that he does not know till he takes up a pen to write. A writer without a pen would be like a duck without water.
“In life, we co-create our reality with others in unseen ways. This is the best and straight way for me to describe late Dr Samuel Ibiyemi, the publisher of NewDirect Newspaper, a brother, a friend and a former co-traveller in the murky waters of politics. Can I ever forget how this veteran journalist got me to be a regular columnist in his widely read NewsDirect Newspaper?
“John Lennon, in one of his popular quotes had this to say about dream: ‘A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.’ It is an absolute human certainty that no one can know his own beauty or perceive a sense of his own worth until it has been reflected back to him in the mirror of another loving, caring human being…This is why I can never allow my dry pen to rest without paying tribute to the very man who encouraged me so much in the art of writing despite several opposing views,” Makinde said.
He continued: “I never knew it is going to be our final meeting when I visited Dr Samuel Ibiyemi while he was in serious battle with death. He had just been proclaimed the winner in the round three of the battle that eventually took his life. He had undergone extensive life saving operations and recuperating when I visited. With him on the day was his wife, who I understand practically stayed put at Babcock University Teaching Hospital, Matthew and others…”Honourable,why have you not been sending your article, please you shouldn’t stop, you are a rare talent,do not be discouraged by the happening in our political arena. Please see Matthew as your son and the newspaper is yours. It must not die.” I was shocked as he shrugged and sat on his hospital bed, he drew me closer and insisted we took pictures. A closer look at his eyes never betrayed him as someone I will never see alive again. What a life!
“The memory of my visit to him at Babcock University Teaching Hospital enveloped me so much that I had to escalate his illness to our leader, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola. True to expectations, he immediately put a call to him and sent him some palliative to cushion the impact of his hospital bill, but as God would always have His way, death the necessary end is here for real, Dr Samuel Ibiyemi is gone!” he said.
Makinde prayed that Almighty God will grant his family as well as his associates the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.