President Muhammadu Buhari has condoled with the family, friends and professional associates of Founder and Executive Chairman of Complete Communications Ltd, Dr Emmanuel Sunny Ojeagbase, whose vision and diligence transformed sports reporting and inspired a generation of media entrepreneurs.
In a press release signed by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity), President Buhari commiserates with his wife and longtime business partner, Pastor (Mrs) Esther Ojeagbase, who worked with her husband in publishing, ministry and charity, bringing out many titles which include Complete Football magazine, Complete Football International (CFI), International Soccer Review (ISR) and Success Digest.
The President affirms that Ojeagbase, who worked for the Daily Times, Concord newspapers and The Guardian, before pioneering sports news publication in Nigeria in 1984, was also a teacher and preacher of the Word of God, and he lived by the tenets of the Holy Bible, greatly motivating others to grow spiritually and apply the principles of honesty, fairness and integrity in business.
President Buhari prays that Almighty God will remember the good works of the media entrepreneur and philanthropist and grant his soul eternal rest.
Also, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare has sent a condolence message to the management of sports publishing outfit Complete Communications over the death of its founder, Dr Emmanuel Sunny Ojeagbase.
The Minister prays that God will comfort his family, friends and colleagues and give them the fortitude to bear the huge loss which he says is national.
Dr. Ojeagbase died on Saturday, 26 February, 2022 in Atlanta, United States of America (USA) after a brief illness. He was 71 years.
He hailed from Uzebba, Iuleha in Owan West of Edo State. Popularly known as Sunny Ojeagbase (or simply “S.O.”) before he added Emmanuel to his names, the late media entrepreneur broke into national consciousness as the pioneer publisher of sports news in Nigeria when he established Sports Souvenir weekly newspaper in 1984.
Before then, he was a retired soldier of the Nigerian Army who cut his teeth in sports journalism as a stringer at the Daily Times newspapers in the mid-1970s. Through sheer talent, determination and hard work, Ojeagbase blossomed very quickly and was appointed sports editor of Sunday Concord newspapers at inception in 1980 and sports editor of The Guardian newspapers also at inception in 1983. He resigned from The Guardian in 1984 to pursue his dream as an entrepreneur.
Between 1984 and 1994, Ojeagbase introduced several other pioneering sports titles including Complete Football magazine, Complete Football International (CFI) and International Soccer Review (ISR) into the Nigerian sports market.
Remarkably, the Complete Football titles played very prominent roles in ensuring Nigeria’s first appearance at the FIFA World Cup at USA 1994 as well as the country’s football Gold medal win at the Atlanta ’96 Olympic Games also in the USA. Between those two historic events in Nigerians sports, Ojeagbase introduced Complete Sports as the Number One daily sports newspaper in Nigeria in 1995.
Also in 1994, Ojeagbase co-founded with his wife, Pastor (Mrs) Esther Ojeagbase, the Success Attitude Development Centre (SADC) with a vision and mission to teach young Nigerian entrepreneurs how to start, run and make a success of their businesses. SADC has gone on to produce and inspire thousands of successful entrepreneurs who are protégés of the Ojeagbases and many of whom are now employers of labour.
Dr. Ojeagbase was ordained as a Pastor in March 2003 and he preached the message of God in words and in deeds to everyone who encountered him. His mantra was to do business and live life with the fear of God, integrity, compassion and peace of mind.