The Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung on Sunday described the death of Nigeria’s foremost investigative reporters , Olajide Fashikun as a colossal loss to Journalism and the Sports industry.
A statement by Nneka Ikem-Anibuze, Special Assistant on Media to Dalung, said the minister expressed deep shock over the death that occurred early Sunday, at the Federal Medical Center, Jabi in Abuja.
“It is a very sad day for sports journalists and athletes in the country.
“Jide created a platform to support athletes and stimulate performance through his mobilization of training funds to assist athletes.
"This made us look forward to a better podium performance in the years ahead.
"Today, the curtains have been drawn on that project,” he said.
Dalung paid glowing tributes to the publisher of Gong News who excelled not only in sports reportage but also politics and investigative writing.
“Jide, a dedicated journalist who went far to uphold the truth. He was a fighter, fearless, thorough and an epitome of investigative journalism while contributing immensely to grassroots sports development.
”His love for grassroots sports informed his personal effort to raise funds for athletes to train with and prepare for future Olympic Games.
”Now, Jide is gone. I pray that God will receive him and give his wife and family the fortitude to bear this loss,” he said.
Dalung said that Fashikun initiated the Nigeria Sports Development Fund to raise money for athletes to prepare for five sports at the Olympics.
The deceased, aged 54, was an ex -international handball player and athlete, and a consummate stakeholder in all sports.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Fashikun had served as Chairman, Kwara State Chapter of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, Sports Editor of the Herald newspaper, Managing Editor of Gong News, Senior Sports correspondent at ThisDay newspaper, and was a lecturer at Kwara Polytechnic.