Adinoyi Ojo Onukaba: A biography
Born on March 9, 1960, Adinoyi Ojo Onukaba hails from Oboroke-Ihima, Okehi LGA of Kogi State to the family of Mallam Shuaibu Onukaba and Hajia Aisha Onukaba.
He graduated from the University of Ibadan (UI) in 1982 at the Department of Theatre Arts.
Adinoyi Onukaba served his fatherland at Radio Nigeria, Ikoyi –Lagos in 1982/83.
His journalism career
Adinoyi Ojo Onukaba began his journalism journey at The Guardian newspapers as one of its pioneer reporters in 1983, where he rose to the position of News Editor before travelling out in 1989 for graduate studies.
He bagged Master of Arts degree in Journalism from New York University, New York, USA.
Adinoyi Ojo Onukaba worked as a Research Officer at the African Leadership Forum, New York.
He also served as the Information officer, Division of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM) between 1994 and 1995.
He obtained his Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1996 from New York University.
Dr. Onukaba became Adjunct Professor of Mass Communication at the School of New Resources, College of New Rochelle, New York in 1997.
Between 1997 and 1998, Adinoyi Ojo Onukaba worked as Press Officer, Department of Public Information, United Nations (New York).
In June 1998, Onukaba was sent to Iraq as an Information Officer, United Nations Office of the Humanitarian Coordinator.
Upon his return to Nigeria in 1999 to participate in the present democratic dispensation, his sterling qualities and ability to succeed caught the attention of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who appointed him as Special Assistant on Media Relations.
As a journalist with unique qualities, Adinoyi Ojo Onukaba had known and related closely with both Atiku and Olusegun Obasanjo since 1984.
Adinoyi Onukaba as the Managing Director of Daily Times
Onukaba got to the peak of his journalistic career in August 1999 when he was appointed Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the then ailing Daily Times of Nigeria PLC.
He worked tirelessly to reposition the Daily Times. His efforts at Daily Times made the newspaper firm attractive to investors before it was privatized in 2004.
Onukaba returned to the presidency as Senior Special Assistant to the former Vice president Atiku Abubakar on Public Communications between July 2003 and April 2005. Beyond Onukaba’s humble exterior lies impenetrable armour of principle and dedication to duty.
In December 2005, the Okun Youth Solidarity Forum (OYSF) led by Hon. Adeniyi Sunday Bello, honoured him with the “Pillar of Youth Award” in recognition of his services to the State.
Earlier in 2001, the then Governor Abubakar Audu of Kogi State honoured him as one of the distinguished citizens of the state. Onukaba has received numerous other awards for his decency, integrity, creativity and kindness.
Onukaba as a biographer/writer
Adinoyi Ojo Onukaba was a seasoned journalist, playwright and publisher of high repute, has published so many books and journals including: “In the Eye of Time”- a biography of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
“Atiku Abubakar”– a biography of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar. “Born to Run” – a biography of Late Dele Giwa, co-authored by him and Dele Olojede.
Onukaba as a playwright
Some of his plays include Her Majesty’s Visit, A Resting Place, Tower of Burden, The Virginity Flee, The Lone Ranger, Bargain Hunting, and Soommalliyya.
His play, “The Killing Swamp” was one of the three finalists for the 2010 NLNG Literature Award.
He is veteran journalist and member of the All Progressives Congress.
Ojo-Onukaba was a governorship aspirant in the last Kogi Primary election.
The late Onukaba was married to Rachael, but remarried when his first wife died about five years ago. He remarried in 2015 to Memunat.
Dr. Adinoyi Ojo Onukaba died on March 5, 2017 on his way back to Abuja. He was returning from Abeokuta, where he attended the commissioning of Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library.
Onukaba is survived by three children — two girls and a boy.