Sunset for Justin Onuorah Abuah

Sunset for Justin Onuorah Abuah
August 18 22:27 2016

By Abdullahi M. Gulloma

No doubt, this is a very sad time for everyone that knew him. Justin Onuorah Abuah, the Director of Information at the State House in Abuja, has passed on, at a time we needed his friendship most.

Born on January 29, 1959, Abuah, who was fondly called O.J, died on Sunday, August 14, 2016. The late Abuah was amazing and had a long and rich career at the Presidency, where he served no fewer than seven leaders. He joined the State House media office from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in 1986.

As rightly observed by the State House Media Office, Abuah’s many colleagues, friends and admirers will fondly remember him as the man behind the several presidential statements and speeches. In the course of his work, Abuah demonstrated a rare sense of calmness and candour expected from a man of his professionalism and intellect.

Abuah was a character. He always had a smile on his face and always seemed to have something new to say. His easy-going and relaxed nature made him a delight to be around. He had a lot of close friends and was always the life of the gathering.

Interestingly, but also curiously, despite his long years of service in the Presidency, an achievement that earned him the title of a presidential villa veteran, Abua was, to the delight of most people, able to insulate himself from the glitz and political goings-on in the Villa. He was a thorough bred professional who was dedicated to, and immersed himself in his job.

It is with little or no wonder, therefore, that the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi‎ Adesina, described the late Abuah ‎as a very competent and excellent man in his job while the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said that Abuah was‎ a pillar of support, an icon of emulation and a unique individual‎.

In fact, Adesina, who led the media unit, press corps and protocol department of the State House to visit Loretta, the deceased’s wife, said he could not find the appropriate words to describe Abuah. “Words have failed me,” Adesina said.

But, he was not the only one failed by the words to describe the man. We all suffered from shortage of words to adequately capture the relevance of Abuah to our work.

No doubt, Abuah lived a quality life worthy of emulation. One of the things that I respected the most about him was his amazing quietness. He was always minding his own business. He was very intelligent and did well at his work.

A native of Asaba, Oshimili South Local Government Area of Delta State, Abuah died under a clear blue sky, in Abuja, after a brief illness. On that day, it was as if nature itself, had honoured him.

The President, Muhammadu Buhari, as it should be expected, has since sent a condolence message to the bereaved family. We should all be thankful for knowing him. I hope that everyone that knew him remembers how wonderful he was and that his memory will continue to live on in our hearts and minds.