Monday, July 8, 2019 12:22 pm
By Babafemi Ojudu
I love good reporters. Ebenezer Obadare was one of my finest reporters. He is now a university professor in the US like some other reporters who passed through me in the 90s.
Those who didn’t go into academics after our tiring brawl with the military are doing well in the corporate world and some in government. Many later held or are still holding important positions in the media.
Obadare, like his many other colleagues who we were blessed to work with,
was an editor’s delight.
He passed through Abuja yesterday to present his book Pentecostal Republic – Religion and The Struggle for State Power in Nigeria . He took time to answer a barrage of questions on issues he raised in the book and did book signing , huggings and back slapping as well.
I was so excited to see him as he was to see me. “Chairman, Chairman,” he shouted on sighting me. That was my nickname in the newsroom. How the name came about now I do not remember. It had nothing doing with my chairmanship of NUJ Concord Chapel as non of the younger generation of reporters who chose to call me Chairman was there then.
Whenever I hear someone shout Chairman, it reminds me of those glorious days of purposeful journalism, a journalism of commitment, a patriotic journalism where professionalism was the ethos and ethics governed the practice.
We stepped on many big toes and were sued many times . We never lost a single libel case. Thank you Chief Gani Fawehinmi, thank you Femi Falana. Thank you too Ben Umudjoro. Those were our lawyers then and they did a yeoman’s job.
Travel safe Ebenezer as you return to your base in America. We sure expect more from your brilliance and wealth of knowledge, as well as your insightful approach to issues.
Incidentally, this morning in Lagos, veterans of journalism, the not so veteran , and the up and coming ones , will gather to celebrate one of their own who is 80 years old and marking the landmark with a book, his story.
Aremo Olusegun Osoba whose career straddled the profession as reporter, editor, General Manager, and Managing Director is one of the greats. He retired from the professional to be twice sworn in as governor of Ogun state. From the first to the last page of the book Osoba referred to himself as a reporter to demonstrate his passion for journalism.
Join me in wishing him happy birthday and many more years of service to journalism and to the nation.