“The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen!
Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Ashkelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.”
The foregoing quotation from 2 Samuel 1:19-20 (KJV)is excerpts of the lamentation of David after he heard about the death of King Saul and his son Jonathan in the Battle of Mount Gilboa. David’s lamentation is one of the most widely quoted tribute ever paid to men of great substance who graced the surface of the earth, not merely because he bade his kinsmen to teach their children to do same, but essentially because of the aptness and glow of his words in honouring great men in death.
On such a solemn occasion, as the media fraternity in Ghana and, indeed, the entire nation unite in mourning, the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) could not have found more befitting words for solace and to dignify one of its illustrious servants than the lamentation of David. Although the circumstances that warranted David’s lamentation several millennia ago may be different from those that have summoned us here, the tears drawn from the eyes, the pain inflicted in the heart, the grief pumped into the soul and the agony unleashed to the body are all shared in both circumstances.
Undoubtedly, Edward Ameyibor, affectionately called ‘Oga’, was a mighty man in the media, particularly the GJA. Under his stewardship as President, the GJA gained more recognition and made bigger impact in national affairs. He brought a lot of dynamism to the Association through which journalism in Ghana discovered its prestige, pride and decency. 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.
In the field of journalism, the number of journalists ‘Oga’ fathered and mentored is uncountable. He prepared the head, the heart and the hand of many journalists to push their pen for the development of self and country. He had open arms that embraced everyone and warm smile directed towards all, whether young or old, tall or short, fat or slim, Ewe or Akan.Also, he was very jovial and planted joy everywhere he went. Indeed, the beauty of the GJA has fallen!
To the GJA, ‘Oga’ attained the status of media legend. And we believe he deserves space in the annals of the GJA. That is why we agree with David to tell his story in our media houses and schools and publish same in the history books of the GJA, lest the daughters of ingratitude rejoice. Again, like David, we will bid our children – the new generation of journalists upcoming – about the story of Oga in order to immortalize his name.
To the bereaved family, old and new colleagues, friends and well-wishers, inasmuch as Oga’s death is heart-wrenching, we encourage you to be sober and take consolation in the words of the Methodist hymnist Joseph Scriven in the second stanza of his evergreensong “What a friend we have in Jesus”, which reads thus:
“Have we trials and temptations?
“Is there trouble anywhere?
“We should never be discouraged,
“Take it to the Lord in prayer.
“Can we find a friend so faithful?
“Who will all our sorrows share?
“Jesus knows our every weakness,
“Take it to the Lord in prayer.”
Oga, our father, brother, colleague, senior and mentor, as you make a journey to the land of eternity, may the good Lord find you a resting place in His bosom till we meet again.
Fare thee well, worthy servant of the media and humanity.