Fellow Nigerians, there is no way I can tell the stories of my life, my adventures and whatever I have achieved in journalism, without devoting substantial space to those who have been my inspiration. Two of them, Chief Olusegun Osoba and Prince Nduka Obaigbena, are in their season of big celebrations as they enjoy landmark birthdays.
The main gist is that Segun had a music box that played cassettes. My favourite of them all was a release by Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey in which he praised Olusegun Osoba to high heavens:
“Olusegun o, Olusegun o, omo Osoba, Omo Osoba, Akinrogun moba rode…
Abata pa, abata pa Osoba yii daraba Olusegun…
Awo Felix Adenaike, awo Peter Ajayi, awo Funlola Okunowo, awo Bukola Okunowo mi, ati Bade Ojora, omo Apasa mi…”
His foray into politics was another remarkable aspect of his life. He was the prototype who proved that journalists could aspire to be anything that they wanted. There was style and class in Journalism and both Osboa and Nduka symbolise this. While Osoba took the world of journalism by storm, what he did in politics was even bigger. He went on to become Governor of Ogun State after only a short stint in politics. He was as dynamic in politics as he had been in journalism. I was not very surprised by his conquests and giant strides. His suaveness and impeccability were such that his successes were assured in whatever he touched. His impact on Ogun State was short-lived because of the June 12 debacle.
I joined so many Nigerians to celebrate Chief Osoba at the launch of his book last Monday and, as always, Chief Osoba sparkled brilliantly like a million stars. The book BATTLELINES was written to commemorate his 80th birthday which comes up in a couple of days. My warm and hearty congratulations to him.
He has suffered greatly for his daredevil approach to journalism, but he has remained unbowed and unmoved in the face of massive intimidation. He has always overcome! Nduka has managed to remain a dominant force and recently forayed into electronic media with the Arise News Channel. Within a short time, Arise has become one of the most authoritative news channels in Nigeria, Africa and beyond. Well done Nduka. I applaud you. You deserve all the plaudits.