I am deeply pained by the news of the passing of renowned journalist and scribe, Peter Enahoro, self-styled ‘Peter Pan’ in his newspaper column, where he made insightful and critical commentary on the Nigerian nation and its march to a free, fair and just society.
Pa Enahoro, who hails from Uromi, in Edo State, was sired by a lineage of politically-conscious parents and as he grew older, he made a lasting imprint on journalism practice in Nigeria and internationally.
He ventured into journalism at an early age and rose rapidly to the highest positions in the field in the 1960s, becoming the Editor of the Sunday Times at 23 years and then Editor of the Daily Times in 1966.
Pa Enahoro conquered the local scene and launched an impressive international journalism stint that heavily impacted how the outer world views and understands the complexities of Nigeria today.
A quintessential columnist, his takes on Nigeria’s pressing and nagging issues were deeply thought-out and poignant, a reflection of his very matured political opinions as well as critical views of those in power at various times in the history of the country.
He can be rightly described as a national treasure, who secured his place in history in the feisty early years of Nigeria’s nationhood. Working as a newspaper editor, he spared none of the Premiers of Nigeria’s three regions at the time in his satirical pieces – he would engage in gutsy debates with the Sardauna of Sokoto and Premier of Northern Nigeria, Sir Ahmadu Bello; spar with the Premier of Western Nigeria, Ladoke Akintola, on topical issues, and Dr. Michael Okpara of Eastern Nigeria was not left out.
Pa Ehanoro later went into self-imposed exile for about 13 years, during which time he worked at reputable international publications, bringing issues bedevilling Nigeria to the attention of the global community.
He was a cerebral journalist, who deployed his intellect in the service of the country, providing and nurturing the space for healthy debates on national policies that impact the lives of the people.
One can rightly say that his engagements were a labour of love for the development of Nigeria, and the vibrant press in the country today owes much of its credit to Pa Enahoro’s bold and courageous skill with the pen to hold those in power to account for their deeds.
A thorough-bred Edo man, he spoke truth to power and espoused noble virtues of diligence, hard work and intellectual rigour.
Pa Enahoro will be remembered for his charm and candour as well as his commitment to a society with a free, just and vibrant press, where everyone is free to express their opinion without let.
On behalf of the Government and people of Edo State, I express my sincere condolences to the Enahoro family, the Nigeria press, and all admirers of the great ‘Peter Pan’ and pray that God will grant all the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
Governor, Edo State