4:53 pm - Saturday May 24, 4403

Sad Exit: Nigeria’s Guardian Newspaper longest former Features Editor, EBERE AHANIHU dies of Heart Attack in Canada home…arrived Ottawa as a refugee after threats to life over expose on HIV/AIDS, completed a PhD program at Carleton University *Deceased dissertation titled: ‘Digitizing Failure: Power and Development in Nigerian e-Schools’ *Travelled widely, reporting on human rights, development and HIV/AIDS work brought threats from law enforcement agents *Ex-Canadian ambassador touched by the journalist’s exemplary lifestyle kick-starts a-gofundme page to support the family *“We need journalists like this who are fearless in their pursuit of truth. It’s a big loss for journalism to lose someone at their prime like this”-Robert Peck, a former Canadian ambassador who served first overseas posting as a diplomat in Lagos *BY GEORGE ELIJAH OTUMU/AMERICAN Foreign Editor & MADU UCHE/Staff Writer, Canada

Sad Exit:

Nigeria’s Guardian Newspaper longest former Features Editor, EBERE AHANIHU dies of Heart Attack in Canada home…arrived Ottawa as a refugee after threats to life over expose on HIV/AIDS, completed a PhD program at Carleton University

*Deceased  dissertation titled: ‘Digitizing Failure: Power and Development in Nigerian e-Schools’

*Travelled widely, reporting on  human rights, development and HIV/AIDS work brought threats from law enforcement agents

*Ex-Canadian ambassador touched by the journalist’s exemplary lifestyle kick-starts a-gofundme page to support the family

*“We need journalists like this who are fearless in their pursuit of truth. It’s a big loss for journalism to lose someone at their prime like this”-Robert Peck, a former Canadian ambassador who served first overseas posting as a diplomat in Lagos

*BY GEORGE ELIJAH OTUMU/AMERICAN Foreign Editor & MADU UCHE/Staff Writer, Canada

HE’S A HARDWORKING investigative journalist, having worked for The Guardian newspaper in Nigeria as a Feature Editor for a span of 18 years. EBERE AHANIHU wrote ground-breaking, breezy news stories on human rights, development and championed various articles on HIV/AIDS. His stern reports were seen as caustic in the eyes of the Nigerian government as  some law enforcement agents felt they had enough of his exposure of their alleged clandestine activities on his trail. Fear that his life may be wasted due to the constant threats daily, this cerebral journalist migrated to Canada where as an Asylum seeker he was offered a refugee status. 

The first thing you would notice about Ahanihu was his stern appearance, but as soon as he spoke his smile could transform a room, according to journalist Allan Thompson. Ahanihu, says Thompson, was a loving father, a talented writer, and a man who risked his life in the pursuit of truth.

Ahanihu, who came to Canada as a refugee from Nigeria, died recently of apparent heart failure at his Ottawa home – survived by his wife, two daughters, a son and six grandchildren. So respected was he that, in an unusual move, a former Canadian ambassador has started a gofundme page to support his family.

For 18 years, Ahanihu worked as the features editor of The Guardian newspaper in Lagos, Nigeria. He travelled widely, reporting on issues such as human rights, development and HIV/AIDS. He also authored The Gathering Storm of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria: The Story So Far , a record of the country’s struggle with the epidemic. His groundbreaking work, however, eventually brought threats from the government of the day, forcing him to relocate to Canada.

Ahanihu arrived in 2008, seeking asylum and looking to study journalism at Carleton University. Thompson, Carleton’s graduate supervisor at the time, had previously covered immigration and refugee issues at the Toronto Star, and says he was moved to accept Ahanihu’s admission application.

“I have a lot of respect for people who make that decision to uproot themselves and go through the whole process of starting their life over again. I think that says a lot about a person’s character. I thought he was somebody who deserved a chance,” said Thompson.

And that chance changed Ahanihu’s life. He went on to complete a PhD from Carleton. “It’s a huge accomplishment for someone like him who had to uproot himself from his home and start over again in a new place. It’s a title that is significant and shows the triumph of the struggles he faced as a refugee and navigating the academic scene,” Thompson says.

Ahanihu’s dissertation “Digitizing Failure: Power and Development in Nigerian e-Schools,” investigated the adoption of commercial educational technology models in Nigerian schools and how race, capitalism and big tech efforts were monetizing children’s learning.

“We need journalists like this who are fearless in their pursuit of truth. It’s a big loss for journalism to lose someone at their prime like this,” said Robert Peck, a former Canadian ambassador who served his first overseas posting as a diplomat in Lagos. Peck has set up a gofundme page hoping to raise $10,000 for the family.

Although Peck did not know Ahanihu personally, “He was a man who had so much more to give. His death is not only a loss for Nigeria but for the world of journalism.”

CERTAINLY, Good journalism costs a lot of money. Without doubt, only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government. We are ready to hold every corrupt government accountable to the citizens. To continually enjoy free access to the best investigative journalism in Nigeria, we are requesting of you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavor.

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