The Nigeria Football Federation has described as “shocking” the death of Pastor (Dr) Emmanuel Sunny Ojeagbase, the Chairman of Complete Communications Limited, who passed on at the weekend in the United States of America.
Presideent of the NFF and FIFA Council Member, Mr Amaju Melvin Pinnick stated that the departed oracle of sports writing and sports publishing carved a bold niche for himself in the profession, made a profound impression on the terrain as he tutored and mentored those who came to be the foredogs of the following decades and left his giant footprints in the sands of time.
“Anyone in the line of football, nay sports knew Pastor (Dr) Sunny Ojeagbase. He was the authentic legend of sports writing and sports publishing, and even went into other terrains that people thought was not possible. We are shocked by his death at this time because he still had so much to give. However, God loves him much more and he has taken him at the appointed time.
“Our joy is that he lived a full, fruitful and fulfilled life. On behalf of the Nigeria Football family, we pray that Almighty God will grant him eternal rest and also grant the family he has left behind, as well as the Complete Communications family, the fortitude to bear this great loss.”
While the likes of Peter Osugo (Pecos), Ishola Folorunsho (Mr It’s A Goal), Solomon Babatunde Oshuntolu (ESBEE) and Bisi Lawrence cut the trees in the sports journalism jungle, Emmanuel Sunny Ojeagbase, at the lead of other illustrious names including Mitchel Obi, Ikeddy Isiguzo, Chris Okojie, Gboyega Okegbenro, Ejiro Omonode, Kunle Solaja, Sam John, Mumimi Alao, Tunde Sulaiman, Muyiwa Daniel and Dave Enechukwu did the hard lifting and put in the hard days to make sports writing and sports reporting a glowingly attractive field.
Soft –spoken, self –effacing, unclamorous yet far-sighted, Ojeagbase made sports reporting an outstanding section in The Guardian Newspapers in the early 1980s, before leaving in 1984. The same year, he founded Sports Souvenir which became Nigeria’s first all-sport publication, to which he added Complete Sports, Complete Football International, Complete Football Extra, Sports Digest, ISR and other publications in the following decades, creating a media behemoth that in turn nurtured geniuses and prodigies who went on to dominate the profession with nonchalance brilliance.