ChannelsTV Aso Rock Correspondent is dead
By Kelechi Amakoh
The State House Correspondent Of Channels Television, Chukwuma Onuekwusi is dead.
The 55-year old journalist died in the early hours of Tuesday in an Abuja hospital after battling with an ailment for some weeks.
He worked for Channels Television for 19 years. During this period, he covered several beats on Channels Television before he was seconded to cover the Presidential Villa as a State House Correspondent.
Onuekwusi previously worked at the Imo Broadcasting Corporation, Owerri as an announcer, reporter and newscaster both on radio and television.
He has a diploma in Mass Communication (Radio/Broadcasting) from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and the British Broadcasting Corporation. He was a nominee for the Nigeria Media Merit Award in 2001.Owerri.
He is survived by wife and children
In an elaborate tribute paid by his former colleague and The Punchâ€™s State House Correspondent, Olalekan Adetayo on Facebook, Chukwuma was described as a hardworking man â€śwho was always was always holding the Channels Television-branded microphone as if his life depended on it.â€ť
Here is the tribute below:
I have lost a colleague, friend and brother,
â€śChukwuma Onuekwusi of Channels Television was a good man. He went beyond being a colleague on the beat, he qualified to be called a friend indeed. He was always calling me, “My friend, Olalekan” and I always responded by saying “Chukwu, Chukwu, Chukwu.”
â€śHe was a very hardworking man, one of the attributes that attracted him to me. He was always holding the Channels Television-branded microphone as if his life depended on it. He did that to the point that we joined some people who paid homage to former President Jonathan on a Christmas Day and the former President could not hide his feeling. “You are still holding this your thing today again,” Jonathan said, referring to Chukwuma and his trademark microphone.
â€śWhen it seemed Chukwuma is talking angrily, just interject with one funny statement and he will burst into laughter and say, “these people won’t allow one to talk.” The case has ended.
â€śI met Chukwuma closely for the first time a few minutes before I got my accreditation to the villa a few years back. We met at the FirstBank in CBD Abuja. There was a long queue and people were impatient. An elderly man took on a young Bank teller who he felt was too slow and called him “Baba Go Slow.” Chukwuma turned back and corrected the man politely. “That is not fair sir. This is a young man who apparently is being meticulous because he does not want to make mistakes. This may even be his first day at work. How do you think he will feel when he gets home today and remember that somebody called him Baba Go Slow? He will feel discouraged and it may affect him for life.,” Chukwuma said and all of us there agreed with him, including the man who made the statement.
â€śHe left the bank before me. A few minutes after, I received a phone call to come and complete my accreditation process in the villa. Immediately I completed the process, I moved to the Press Gallery where I was introduced to colleagues. Lo and behold, I saw Chukwuma there. He did not know me but I asked if he was at the bank a few minutes ago and he said yes. I reminded him what transpired at the bank and he said, “My brother, we need to be encouraging people, especially young ones, not discouraging them.” That was vintage Chukwuma.
â€śI have taken this long to pay tribute to a friend and colleague not because I think he will be reading this but because I want all of us still living to learn a lesson or two. Every additional minute we spend on earth is a bonus from God and we need to use it well.
â€śI pray that God will be with the family Chukwuma left behind. All of us who mourn at this time, may the Lord comfort us. It is indeed painful.
â€śGood night, my friend Chukwuma.