MEET FRANK OSHANUGOR
By Winnie Kodilonye
Multiple award-winning journalist and charity advocate, Mr. Odita Sunday is a year older today. The author and ‘A List’ newsman who is the Head of Defence and Security Affairs for The Guardian newspapers in an instagram post this morning, appreciated God for keeping him alive and for making him a voice in the Nigeria’s security and defence reporting space.
Born over four decades ago at Catholic Maternity, Boji-Boji Owa, Agbor, Delta State, Mr. Odita Sunday, popularly known simply as ODITA could best be described as a man on a divine mission to fulfill destiny. With a humble parental background from Onicha – Ugbo, Aniocha North LGA and Owa Oyibu, in Ika North East LGA, he seemed to have realized quite early in life that while some are born into existing parental GREATNESS, others achieve greatness for themselves through hard work and divine assistance.
Quite unlike some of his peers, Odita was able to identify the purpose of God for his life, ostensibly based on his innate ability. He did not waste time chasing shadows when he obviously understood what he is naturally meant to be – a journalist.
This inclination underscored his quest for knowledge as a Mass Communication student at the prestigious Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi in Edo State. There, he took time to learn the arts and science of journalism for four good years and subsequently bagged the Higher National Diploma. Not done with that, he obtained a PGD in Maritime Administration and Management from the University of Lagos (University of first choice). He also bagged an Advanced Certificate in Media and Communications from the Pan Atlantic University, Lagos in addition to other qualifications in photography and ICT obtained from Mattson Photography Academy and Google Media Academy respectively. He had also undertaken a leadership programme at the Daystar Leadership Academy and obtained a Certificate at the United Nations anti-drug training programme. He holds a certificate in Digital Marketing and New Media Application from Odigital Academy, Lagos and participated in Data Journalism Course in Lagos courtesy of Budgit.
Having armed himself with good knowledge, Odita set out to ply his trade as a journalist with The Guardian newspaper/British Council in 2002 as a Youth Corp member. With over a decade in the journalism profession, he has steadily moved up the professional ladder and he is currently the Head, Defence and Security Affairs with the Nigeria based flagship newspaper. Over the years, he had stint in Maritime, Health, Entertainment and Political Reporting.
A well-travelled newsman, Odita was in Senegal in 2010 with the Nigeria Navy to receive Nigeria Navy Ship Thunder on arrival from United States of America. He was in Benin Republic with the Nigerian Navy on joint naval operations tagged “Operation Prosperity”. In 2012 he was in Ghana to cover Africa Security Summit organized by Security Watch Africa and accompanied the Nigeria Navy for eight days on military operations tagged ‘Exercise Faratua’ at the Gulf of Guinea water just as he was also in Douala Cameroun for coverage of a multi-national sea exercise tagged “Exercise Obangame Express’ involving 16 countries from different parts of the world in 2012.
In 2013, Odita was in Philadelphia, New York and New Jersey, United States of America for the four-day International Conference of Chiefs of Police and in October, 2014 he attended International Workshop on Security hosted in Orlando, Florida by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Similarly in October, 2015, he was in Houston Texas for Security Watch Africa Award and lecture conference.
Due to his vast knowledge and desire for a better police image, he was appointed a member of the Committee set up by the Inspector General of Police, Mr. M.D. Abubakar in 2011 to reform the Nigeria Police Public Relations Department. He was indeed, a privileged member of that committee.
He was among the few journalists in Nigeria trained on Investigative Reporting in Digital Age by the United States of America and Voice of America.
He is a Fellow Member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and holds membership of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Anglican communion, Pilgrims Baptist Old Boys Association, School of Media & Communications, Pan Africa University Alumni Association, University of Lagos (UNILAG) Alumni Association, Auchi Polytechnic Alumni Association, Nigeria Institute of Public Relations, Institute of Management Consultant (Fellow) and Crime Reporters Association of Nigeria.
Besides his membership of the afore-mentioned associations, Odita Sunday had at various times held leadership positions such as President, Association of Mass Communication Students, Auchi Polytechnic, Chairman, Welfare Committee, Students Union Government, Vice President, Minstrel Theatre Troupe, Auchi Polytechnic, Games Prefect, Pilgrims Baptist Grammar School, Issele-Uku and Founder/National Coordinator, Anioma Youths Network for Development. He is also the founder of The Odita Sunday Charity Foundation (TOSCF).
In spite of his active involvement in many professional and social activities, which are time consuming, Odita Sunday is a good family man. He is happily married to Ozioma whom he fondly calls OZ and they are blessed with three lovely children.
He is a recipient of many awards, locally and internationally. He is a member of the Nigeria Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) and Fellow Institute of Management Consultants (IMC).
He has touched the lives of orphans in primary and secondary schools in Delta and Lagos through his TOSC charity foundation. He has also donated seed money to petty traders and artisans to boost their trade.
He is a passionate humanitarian journalist with a long nose for news.