By Eric Elezuo
The multi-purpose hall of the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) Victoria Island Lagos, was a beehive of activities Wednesday as the accomplished journalist and social commentator, Bashorun Dele Momodu, presented three great books in honour of the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 Presidential Election, Chief Moshood Abiola. The books are Pendulum: The Writings of Dele Momodu 1, Pendulum: The Writings of Dele Momodu 2 and Fighting Lions: The Untold Story Story of Dele Momodu’s Presidential Campaign authored by his campaign manager in 2011, Ohimai Godwin Amaize.
With the who is who in Nigerian’s political, social and industrial platforms present, the thorough written books hit the public domain, cheered by a large crowd of audience that besieged the arena.
The event, which took off at the exact time promoted, kick-started with the introduction of highly influential personalities presented as the national anthem chimed the air afterwards.
With the stage set for the real event, the Keynote Speaker, who is the Serving Overseer of the Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare, took centre stage, heaping one term of endearment on the Ovation Magazine Publisher after another. He stated that Momodu has intensified his contributions so that Nigeria can rise up potential of a great nation regardless of whoever is in government. And that dogged in the Nigerian dream has brought us together today at at time when the countdown clock to the 2019 election and the Nigerian dream is yet addressed, and the structural defect glaringly acute,” he said.
He described the present dispensation as a critical period in the Nigerian national life, and quoting a former French warrior, Napoleon Bonaparte, he described the journalist thus a “journalist is a grumbler, a censorer, a giver of advice, a regent of sovereigns and a tutor of nations; four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets,” he said.
He maintained the at “the writings of Dele Momodu has over the years addressed the fundamental issues facing our nation, stating that he was confident that the likes of Momodu will intensify efforts to ensure that the welfare and security of the people as well as the overall development of our people becomes the main discourse at this pivotal moment.”
Bakare’s heartwarming speech set the stage for short interview with the man of the moment, Dele Momodu, conducted by veteran broadcaster and founder of the first women radio station, Toun Okewale.
While fielding Okewale’s questions, Momodu took time out to explain the person behind MKO Abiola, his vision for the Nigerian people and everything he stood for, thanking as many that stood behind the enigma as the June 12 crisis lasted.
Afterwards, seasoned broadcasters programmed to review the three books took their turns to give a critical analysis of the work most people described as superlative.
Taking his turn first was the Chairman, Editorial Board, ThisDay Newspapers, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi, who went down memory lane the life and times of the Dele Momodu.
He was followed by Mr. Simon Kolawole, Publisher, TheCable, who reviewed the second book, Pendulum: The Writings of Dele Momodu 2 while the Managing Director, Arise News Channel, Ms Ijeoma Nwaogwugwu did a thorough job in the dissertation of the third book, Fighting Lions: The Untold Story of Dele Momodu’s Presidential Campaign.
Nwaogwugwu revealed the frustrations, as represented by the author, which Momodu suffered while attempting to become the president of Nigeria in 2011. Some of which include the part played his primary constituency, the media, who wrote him out of contention.
The highlight of the event was the short speech presentation by the Chairman of Forte Oil, Mr. Femi Otedola, where he highlighted the sure steady steps that brought Dele Momodu to his present status.
With speeches done, the compere, Gbenga Adeyinka, the First, supervised the unveiling of the books to the applause of the teeming supporters of Momodu and Ovation Group.
The book launch proper was another exercise in professionalism as personality after personality stepped out boldly, took a good number and make generous donations.
The event paraded the best Nigerian society could offer including Mr. Jimi Agbaje, who represented a former Vice President of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; Mr. Dayo Adeneye, who represented the Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun; Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Otunba Bimbo Ashiru; Hajia Bola Shagaya, Chairman of Forte Oil, Mr. Femi Otedola; former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi; Ambassador Akin Osuntokun, Amb. Toyin Okanlawon, Chief of Staff to the Lagos Speaker House of Assembly, Hon. Wale Jafojo, former Vice Presidential Candidate, Tanko Yanusa; Chairman of Eleganza Group, Chief Razaq Akanni Okoya; Mr. Ajanaku, Special Adviser to Governor Akinwumi Ambode, Lagos Commissioner for Information, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan, Mr. Bisoye Fagade, Dare Babarinsa, Biodun Ponle, Oluwatoyin Seriki, Founder of Esther Ajayi Foundation, Reverend Mother Esther Ajay; CEO, BISCOM, Prince Bisi Olatilo, and Princess Toyin Kolade.
Others were Mrs. Falake Ani-Mumuney, former Chairman of Amuwo Odofin LGA, Comrade Ayo Adewale; Gboyega Okegbenro, Funmi Odunsi, A. U. Mustapha (SAN), Senator Tokunboh Afikuyomi, Princess Aderemi Ogunsanya, Mrs. Modupe Oguntade, Olori Ladun Sijuade, Dr. Kayode Are, CEO, UT Group, Mr. Ayo Adebajo; Richard Mofe Damijo, Sir Tony Chiejine who represented Alhaji Aliko Dangote; CEO, Tetrazzini, Chief Donatus Okonkwo, Mr. Siji Ogundele, Senator Solomon Adeola, Chief Tony Okoroji among others.