SaharaReporters has learned of the death earlier today of Pini Jason, one of Nigeria’s most well known columnists. He was 65.

A professional colleague of his disclosed that Mr. Jason died early in the afternoon in a Lagos hospital after undergoing a surgical procedure a few days ago. SaharaReporters could not ascertain how long he had been ill.

Mr. Jason, whose real name was Jason Onyegbadue, was until his death a columnist for Lagos-based Vanguard newspaper. He wrote his regular column until three weeks ago.

A longtime columnist for the newspaper, Mr. Jason took a leave of absence in 2007 to work as a senior aide to former Governor Ikedi Ohakim of Imo State. He was designated a special assistant on special duties. He returned to writing his column at the Vanguard following Mr. Ohakim’s failure in 2011 to obtain a second term as governor.  

Saharareporters could not confirm the exact cause of death. However, a source revealed that Mr. Jason underwent a prostate cancer surgery two years ago.

Mr. Jason had earlier worked as a senior editor at the now defunct African Guardian newspaper. A colleague of his at African Guardian remembered him as “a witty, exuberant person whose robust sense of humor enlivened the newsroom.”

Mr. Jason is survived by a wife and several children.

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