By SAM ADZEGEH, Abuja –
President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed deep condolences over the sudden passing of Mr. John Chiahemen, a veteran journalist.
Chiahemen, who had worked with the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) and also served as Reuters bureau chief in Nigeria, died yesterday in a hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa, aged 72.
In a condolence letter signed by Garba Shehu, his Senior Special Assistant for Media and Publicity, and dated August 10, 2022, President Buhari said he was “saddened to hear of the passing of John Chiahemen” and “ extends his deep condolences to his family, friends and colleagues, including everyone in the various media where he worked.
The President recalled that the veteran journalist was “highly respected for his brilliant contributions and editorial role in covering the news of Africa from a business and development perspective, beyond the narrow stereotypes of disasters and of poverty”.
The President expressed hope that the remarkable legacy left by Mr. Chiahemen, whom he described as “one of Nigeria’s most accomplished journalists”, will continue to inspire current and future members of the Fourth Estate of the kingdom.
The President also prayed for the peaceful rest of the soul of the deceased and the comfort of the bereaved.
In another message of condolence, Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom also expressed deep sadness over Mr Chiahemen’s passing.
Ortom, in the condolence message signed by Nathaniel Ikyur, his chief press officer, described the passing of the
international journalist, “who had contributed to the development of society, especially on the global peace initiative”, as a huge loss for Nigeria.
Ortom lamented that Mr Chiahemen passed away at a time when his wealth of experience and expertise in conflict management was needed to navigate the troubled waters of Nigerian politics.
He noted the late journalist’s exploits, courage and resilience in modern media engagement in Nigeria and other African countries where he had worked with distinction.
The Governor lamented that Benue State and Nigeria lost a great race patriot and media professional and urged the bereaved family to take solace in the fact that the late Chiahemen left positive footprints in time.
In another letter of condolence, a holder of the traditional Tiv title, Professor Terhemba Shija, the Zege Kwaghfan u Tiv, also offered his condolences to the family of the deceased journalist. Shija, who described the deceased veteran journalist as “a brother and a colleague”,
He recalled that Chiahemen was a thorough and conscientious media professional, committed to the highest ethics of journalistic best practices. He prayed to God to give the bereaved family the courage to bear the loss.
Chiahemen also worked briefly with Abubakar Atiku’s media company, Gotel, as its first managing director in 2015.
The late Chiahemen was from Mbadede in Vandeikya Local Government Area of Benue State.
He is survived by a wife, three children, a grandchild and many relatives, including Tom Chiahemen, another veteran journalist and publisher of NATIONAL ACCORD newspaper, and Mark Chiahemen of Lemon Graphics (Computer Graphics Designs and Printers), Abuja .