And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, behold… “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Revelation 21:3-4.
Family, friends and colleagues of the late Edward Yao Ameyibor, a former Chief Editor of the Ghana News Agency, a former President of the Ghana Journalists Association, on Sunday marked the first anniversary of his passing.
Edward Yao Ameyibor, a year ago, you unceremoniously left us to join the host of angels in that celestial city.
As we mark the first anniversary of life without Oga, we simply have to admit that; “Gone! but not forgotten”.
Mr Ameyibor, who was popularly called Oga or Eddie, disembarked on July 22, 1943 in Accra and after series of accomplishments traversing 909 months and 22 days on earth, you embarked on the Celestial Airline Flight Number 13/05/2019 after acquisition of visa from the Trust Hospital, Osu.
At the Tema Community 9, final departure lounge on that earth-shattering day of July 5, 2019, we accepted the fact that, Oga is Gone.
A year on, as we observe the first anniversary of your departure we say; we have not forgotten you.
And as his beloved gathered at the Tema Joint Church to mark the occasion of life without him, the message that rang out loudly and clearly was the admission, “Gone but not forgotten!”
At the Memorial Service at the Church, even under the cover of nose-masks and face shields, one can feel the empathy that filled the atmosphere.
After the solemn church service, they proceeded to the Tema Community 9 graveyard in their white apparel, led by the resident Pastor of the Tema Joint Church, to unveil the tombstone, which forms part of the traditional and religious custom to mark the first anniversary of the departed.
Family and friends recounted the life of Oga who was pleasant, hardworking, creative organiser, determined to succeed with a ‘never say die’ attitude with a deep love for quality journalism, which often left him with the saying “Let your works speak for you; don’t become a pawn for any human being!”
Indeed, a year on, your works and words are still speaking for you at Peki, Tema, Ghana News Agency, National SSNIT Pensioners Association, HelpAge Ghana, Ghana Journalists Association, Tema Joint Church, among others.
Indeed your good deeds have lived on, as we recount your service to the Ghanaian media landscape through the Ghana News Agency and the Ghana Journalists Association where you served as its President (1989 -1992).
We cannot forget your role as the Assistant General Secretary, Union of African Journalists, Cairo, Egypt (1989 -1992).
The “Manual of News Agency Journalism – The GNA Experience,” which you co-authored with the late Kwao Lotsu and Sam Quaicoe, is still a treasured manual for training.
On this memorable first anniversary friends remember vividly in our ears your talk about different cultures, including; foods, music, arts and festivals.
In these days of fake news, older journalists who had contact with Oga, recount your antidote to reporters to research more into what they write about, “For a society that does not read will soon fall into ignorance and decay, its history will be distorted, its culture destroyed and the honour of its people lowered.”
You will forever be remembered as a man of peace, friendship and tolerance.
We can go on and on and we might not finish talking about your packed experiences and portfolios as a hard-nosed journalist and a foundation layer.
Friends on this memorable first anniversary which to us has come too soon, remember vividly in our ears your talk about different cultures, including foods, music, arts and festivals.
He would on a nice day order a bottle of beer with his glass raised, “drink deep or taste not” with a beaming smile. He was peaceful and would call every misunderstanding and arguments to a halt saying, “leave it or it is okay”.
After every hard day’s work, rest is eminent hence we do not begrudge our maker for taking him away from us despite the fact that his absence is too loud and very hard to overcome. God has designed his exit and we cannot prevent it but to bid him farewell.
His brothers on his first anniversary say: To say that we are a confused lot is an understatement. To explain our desperation is to tell all present that we have lost our leader, protector and inspirer.
“To come to terms with the effects of our brother, Eddie’s departure is a task that cannot be done now or even later”.
The in-laws said: Life is short and death is indeed inevitable, so is the pain of losing a loved one.
The GJA said: Undoubtedly, Edward Ameyibor, affectionately called Oga, was a mighty man in the media, particularly the GJA.
Under his stewardship as President, from 1988 to 1992 (having served for two terms of two-year tenure) the GJA gained more recognition and made bigger impact in national affairs.
He also served as the GJA representative in the Consultative Assembly that drafted the 1992 Constitution, the supreme law of Ghana upon which our democracy and essence as a nation thrive.
As the anchor of the old order of the GJA leadership, his swift sprint paved the way for the new order of leadership to take over.
Oga prepared the head, the heart and the hand of many journalists to push their pen for the development of self and country.
To the GJA, Oga attained the status of media legend. And we believe he deserves space in the annals of the GJA.
The SSNIT National Pensioners Association recounted that Mr. Ameyibor worked hard to bring about a number of innovations meant to enhance the welfare of members of the Association.
“Lord Amey, Oga kpatakpata, Eddie and Manager” during his active service at Diamond FM would sponsor lunch including roasted plantain and peanut, which many of his staff got to know is called ‘Kofi brokeman’ or a night out for his favourite pepper soup with Coca-Cola.
The Tema Joint Church said was an active member of the church who took his faith in Christ Jesus seriously.
As a result of his commitment, hard work and dedication, he was elevated through an election to the position of Vice President of the Fellowship.
Brother Edward Ameyibor was also of great assistance to the 25th anniversary planning committee and a very active member of the then Evangelism Committee.
Nii Addokwei Moffatt, NMC member, described Oga as an angel who was kind, benevolent, generous, and supportive; willing to do anything from his heart without thought of any benefit to him to improve the lot of others who are not related to him in anyway.
As we mark the first anniversary of your absence in the body, but present with the maker, Nii Moffatt says: “Oga I owe much of my successes in my professional career as a journalist to you, as you helped me, a young man whom you knew from nowhere, to achieve the pinnacle in my career.
“Especially when narrating my story, I got to know from two colleagues, Nana Kwasi Gyan Apenteng, former Chairman of the National Media Commission and Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, Minister, Business Development, that he did same for them whilst in Tamale”.
Mr Bright Blewu former GJA General Secretary described Oga as a stream of living water, that for nearly four decades, flowed freely and smoothly across Ghana’s media landscape — through gullies and into their nooks and crannies. Over plains, down through the valleys; between stumps and rocks until he finally flowed into the sea on Monday, May 13, 2019.
No matter how long and whether sooner or later, life is short because death is sure to come.
We still can sense your infectious chuckle, which often erupted into rumbling laughter. We still can hear your gentle voice and feel your wise counsel. We will forever miss our Oga. Gone! But Never Forgotten.
“For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith from now on the crown of righteousness is laid up for me, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but to all who crave His appearing.” 2 Tim. 6-7
By Francis Ameyibor