Sunday, March 28, 2021 10:00 am
By Yeye Bolanle Olatunde,
I first came in contact with Senator Ojudu Babafemi in the early 90s when I worked with TELL Magazine.
The Independent Communications Network Limited (ICNL), Publishers of TheNews/Tempo Magazines/PM News which he co-founded with a few other veteran journalists was not just TELL’s next door neighbour but a united ally in the struggle against the then Abacha military junta.
So, I became a keen watcher of this brave fighter of people’s human rights.
Fast forward to the advent of the Progressive Action Movement (PAM) at the dawn of the millennium; which he, alongside other great Nigerians like Col. Dangiwa Umar, HRH Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Uncle Kayode Samuel, Basorun Akin Osuntokun Chief Segun Awolowo (jnr) Ms.Toyin Fagbayi, Esoji Olawale Okunniyi
et al teamed up with the irrepressible Otunba Opeyemi Agbaje to midwife, our paths crossed again.
PAM National gave birth to PAM South West which he chaired and at some point I became privileged to be the scribe.
One day, egbon announced to the house he needed to step aside for an equally important and urgent assignment.
Aunty Lola Adefope, my friend and sister; Olayinka Osifodunrin- Ogundimu and I were not happy he was leaving us, we didn’t know what he was up to. He saw my countenance but kept quiet. I was sad.
Few days later, egbon called me and said; “aburo, our house is on fire and we need to quench that raging fire before it consumes us in Ekiti” He explained in details…..it was then I realized his burning desire to wrestle our dear state from the then government of the day which ruled by the jugular was the fire in his belly that made him stepped aside as Chairman; PAM S/W.
I pledged my support and the journey began. Shortly after then, with his active support, the Ekiti e-eleven was birthed.
Egbon believed so much in me that he did something that still humbles me till this day….he called me one morning….”aburo where are you?”
“I’m in my office sir”; I answered.
Okay, we’re putting together the new E-eleven constitution and I want your input so I’m sending the draft to you, please read through and make your input in long hand”
“Ok sir!” I answered and he dropped the line. This touched me so much….who was I that this great guy believed so much in.
Bros, I thank you so much, agba yin a dale. He went ahead to be a great pillar of support for the e-eleven and another group of Ekiti professionals called Ekiti Collectives (of which for inexplicable reasons I was the only female member amongst about 35 great guys).
Oh yes, we had cause to disagree politically along the line but each time this happened, it was disagreement in love of motherland.
Today this great guy who fondly introduces himself as a “Reporter” hits diamond and I can’t but celebrate his fighting spirit, doggedness and political sagacity.
Egbon as I fondly call him loves Ekiti, nay Nigeria with passion even to the point of being often misunderstood. Today he stands tall at 60 and I join other well wishers to say he is indeed a jolly good fellow.
Please join me to celebrate the Special Adviser to Mr President on Political Matters; our own SBO and freshly minted Amanan Yakanajie of Uke Kingdom; Distinguished Senator Babafemi Ojudu.
Bros, e o pe bi ewe pepe, e o dagba e o dogbo, e o fori peu, e o ferigi jobi, isu omo a jinna fun un yin je sir.
Congratulations and many happy returns sir.
-Yeye Bolanle Olatunde, journalist, public relations consultant and businesswoman writes from Abuja.