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Bashorun Dele Momodu @63



By Segun Adeyeye

Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men – Proverbs 22:29

On the 16th of May 2023, Chief Dele Momodu, an accomplished Journalist, Publisher, global media entrepreneur, pro-democracy activist, presidential aspirant and mentor to many clocked 63 years on earth.

The story of this great and iconic son of Africa affectionately called ‘BOB DEE’ by his friends and teeming admirers is the stuff of legends.
Born to barely literate parents, Dele Momodu studied Yoruba language as an undergraduate and did his post graduate studies in Literature in English, both at the prestigious University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University).

His unique mastery of the English language saw him secure early jobs as private secretary to the late Deputy Governor of the old Ondo State, Chief Akin Omoboriowo and public relations officer to the late Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade at different times.

When the allure of Lagos came calling, as a young up coming Journalist, Dele took abode in the relatively sleepy Adigboluja in the Ojodu Abiodun area of Lagos, a community in which this writer also lived briefly as a teenager.

His prodigious talent quickly saw him engaged as an editor of the then wave making Weekend Concord; one of the titles on the staple of Concord Newspaper Group owned by the late Chief MKO Abiola. It was from this platform that Dele Momodu metaphorically took lifestyle journalism by storm.

He brought so much panache to that genre of print journalism and gravitas to the office of editor that other higher responsibilities soon came calling.

There is a saying among the Yorubas that a child that knows how to thoroughly wash his hands will soon start dining with the elders; Such was the story of the then young and budding journalist that he soon came into the attention of Chief MKO Abiola the Newspaper’s proprietor. The story of the Father-Son relationship that Chief Abiola and Dele Momodu went on to build has been well documented; to the extent that on the day of his wedding in 1992, his new bride, Mrs Mobolaji Momodu was handed over to Chief Abiola as Dele’s Father. He also once ran Chief Abiola’s wonderloaf Bakery amidst other engagements usually reserved for trusted lieutenants.

When Chief Abiola went into politics and contested the June 12 1993 presidential election, naturally his much beloved son Dele became one of his political footsoldiers. The unfortunate annulment of that historic election and the ensuing battle to reclaim the mandate freely given to Chief Abiola by Nigerians brought out the activist in Dele Momodu. Soon enough, his uncompromising stance would make him a prime target for the military junta who hounded him everywhere until he had to take refuge in exile, from where he alongside other pro-democracy activists like Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, Gen Alani Akinrinade,(Rtd) Air Commodore Dan Suleiman (Rtd)Senator Bola Tinubu late Chief Anthony Enahoro and others waged a ferocious battle against the military that culminated in the birth of the democratic rule being enjoyed by Nigerians today in 1999.

As the saying goes; when life throws you a lemon, you should endeavour to make a lemonade out of it. Such was the case with Dele Momodu who with his wife and young family bore the brunt and hardships of life in exile in the early days of their marriage.

While in exile in the UK, the idea of a global celebrity magazine to truly celebrate great accomplishments by Africans from all spheres of endeavors began to take root his ever fecund mind; enter Ovation Magazine International. The little acorn that was Ovation Magazine has now become a giant oak tree with other spin off businesses and tentacles all over the world.

Despite his hyper busy schedule manning his chains of business interests, the writer in Dele Momodu still finds time to write what should rank as one of the longest running columns in any Nigerian Newspaper; the PENdulum on ThisDay Newspaper on Saturdays.

One enduring quality that has greatly endeared the celebrant to this writer is his fidelity to friendship and ever readiness to acknowledge everyone who has played one positive role or another in his journey to the top no matter how seemingly negligible. When he clocked 60 in the year 2020, for weeks his back page column in ThisDay and his The Boss online Newspaper were yielded to acknowledging and celebrating this long list of ‘who is who’ in his still evolving great story.

This writer was also deeply touched on one occasion watching Chief Momodu not being able to hold back his tears on a live television interview once the subject veered in the direction of Chief MKO Abiola and the harrowing experience he went through in military detention while trying to claim his mandate culminating in his unfortunate death. Such has been his loyalty to his mentor and his legacy even in death.

Chief Momodu’s recent forays into Nigeria’s presidential politics may not have met with the expected success, but let no one be left in doubt that he is still poised to play a major role in the evolution and development of his great country.

In his book; How Countries Compete: Strategy, Structure and Government in the Global Economy, Richard H.K..Victor alluded to the stiff competition going on in an increasingly globalized world and how imperative it is for countries to develop strategies to compete for the markets, technologies and skills that will raise their standards of living.

Notably, for Nigeria to survive in this cauldron of competition, the role of global branding and strategic positioning experts like Dele Momodu simply cannot be overemphasized.

So for this great Nigerian, in the annals of our political, economic leadership and development as a nation, his day in the sun is still looming large ahead.

Suffice now to join his beloved wife of over three decades, four Sons, extended family members and well wishers all over the world to say;


As your days, so shall your strength be in Jesus Name (Amen).

Adeyeye is a Lagos based Corporate Lawyer and Content Developer (

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My Elegy on the Sad Passage of High Chief Raymond Aleogho Ayaoghena Dokpesi, Ph.D, OFR




By Mike Ozekhome

I am a very sad man as I write this. I am completely devastated by the ugly news of the rather sudden death of my elder brother, friend, kinsman, soulmate and confidant, HIGH CHIEF RAYMOND ALEOGHO AYAOGHENA DOKPESI.

Dokpesi had called me on WHATSAPP at about 1.30am THIS MORNING (29th May, 2023). He called me to discuss friendship, brotherhood and take advice on sundry legal matters. He exuded his usual happiness, vibrancy, and gusto, notwithstanding that he has had some health challenges for some time. His voice was quite rich, steady and filled with laughter, as we taunted and bantered with each other, as we were wont to do whenever we encountered
each other. We exchanged chats and spoke up to about 1.50am this morning. So when Chief Tony Akiotu (GMD, DAAR Communication) and Senator Francis Alimhikhena called me to break the sad news of his death from the very hospital where he was said to have been rushed to, I could not believe my ears. It took another communication from his first son, Raymond Dokpesi Jnr to melt my lethargic world of disbelief. Was the Ezomo of Weppa Wanno Kingdom’s call to me a FAREWELL from him? Did he have the premonition of his imminent death? I do not know. Gosh!!! One thing is clear to me as I grieve: Weppa – Wanno, Etsako, Afenmailand, Edo State, Nigeria, Africa, the black race, and indeed the whole world, has lost an unforgettable and uncommon shining star and gem. At a mere 71, Dokpesi lived a life of nobility; a life wholly dedicated to the service of God and humanity. He impacted the most vulnerable through his many philanthropic works. In the maritime world, he stood tall and resplendent, earning a Ph.D in Maritime Engineering. He was to become the nullus secondus of the media world where he became a Czar, the Ted Turner of African broadcasting.

Dokpesi indeed pioneered and blazed private independent broadcasting of television and radio in Nigeria and Africa, establishing Raypower and the African Independent Television (AIT). It was unheard of that a single individual could challenge and break decades of government’s dominance and monopoly of information through radio and television. But, the Araba of Oshoroland and Oghierumhoa of Weppa Wanno Kingdom did just that. In politics, Dokpesi was a master strategist and iconic tactician. His name vibrated and revibrated across Nigeria for decades in Nigeria’s political firmament. He epitomized the soul and spirit of DAAR. Not many Nigerians know that DAAR is actually a reversed acronym of his name – RAYMOND ALEOGHO AYAOGHENA DOKPESI (RAAD).

The Ezomo came. He saw. He conquered. He ran a good race. He finished well. May God grant this legend and collosus eternal repose of his great soul until we meet to part no more.

tseee, Itseee lagi Itseee

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Police Arrest Four Yoruba Nation Agitators for Seizing Radio Station




Some Yoruba Nation agitators, on Sunday morning, seized Radio Nigeria, Amuludun FM 99.1 in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, taking over broadcast for more than one hour.

A source told The PUNCH Metro that the agitators, who besieged the station around 5:40 am in an 18-seater bus, were armed with dangerous weapons and charms, threatening to deal decisively with any staff member who refused to cooperate with them.

However, four out of the agitators, among whom was a woman, were arrested by the police with the assistance of the Nigerian army, while others ran into different directions to evade arrest.

One of the arrested agitators, who sustained gunshot wounds, had rushed into the studio to tell others that security operatives had taken over the nooks and crannies of the station. The blood stain was seen in the studio.

An investigation by our correspondent revealed that after holding some night duty staff and security guards hostage, the agitators hijacked the studio and announced live on radio “Welcome to Yoruba Nation.”

An impeccable source further said they continued threatening staff members to remove all Nigeria flags in the station and replace them with Yoruba Nation flags as they have already taken over the Government Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan.

It was further learnt that they initially hijacked some commercial vehicles (Micra) to block the main road.

When our correspondent visited the station at J&P Bus-stop, Moniya in Akinyele Local Government Area of the state, more than 20 operational vehicles of security agents, including Department of State Services were sighted at strategic locations to forestall any eventuality.

Confirming the invasion, the most senior staff on duty, Ajayi Omotola, stated that, “They told us that they are Yoruba Nation agitators. And in their T-shirt, there was that inscription there. They wrote Yoruba Nation. Only six persons came inside the studio with different charms threatening to kill us if we failed to cooperate. Others were outside manning security at different areas within the premises.

“They collected all our phones and threatened to kill us if we made any noise or phone calls. They said they wanted to broadcast live that Yoruba Nation has taken over. We should remove all Nigeria flags in our studio and replace it with their own. They didn’t allow anybody to go outside. The Area Commander came, addressed and even pleaded with them but they ignored him. We later heard sporadic shooting outside. So, one of our staff members then came inside to inform us that police and soldiers had arrived,” Omotola stressed.

As of press time, normalcy had returned while stern-looking security operatives were still manning the station.

The Punch

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76th Cannes Film Festival Ends with Bang




The stars on parade at 76th Festival de Cannes


By Michael Effiong

The colour, the glamour, the style and class of the 76th Annual Cannes Film Festival ends today with a big bang.

Festival de Cannes, the film industry’s most prestigious festival will take place at 8:30 pm and will be broadcast live on France 2 and internationally on Brut.

The Jury, presided over by director Ruben Östlund and including director Maryam Touzani, actor Denis Ménochet, writer/director Rungano Nyoni, actress/director Brie Larson, actor/director Paul Dano, writer Atiq Rahimi, director Damián Szifron and director Julia Ducournau, will select the winners from the 21 films in Competition this year.

Actress Anaïs Demoustier, President of the Jury, will hand out the Caméra d’or award to the best first film. Actress Stacy Martin and director Ildikó Enyedi, President of the Short Film and La Cinef Jury, will award the Palme d’or for short films.

Actor Orlando Bloom will hand out the Jury Prize. Actor Song Kang-ho, last year’s winner of the Best Performance by an Actor for Broker and actress Zar Amir Ebrahimi, last year’s winner of the Best Performance by an Actress for Holy Spider, will award the Best Performance by an Actress and Best Performance by an Actor Prizes respectively.


Actor John C. Reilly, President of the Un Certain Regard Jury, will award the Best Screenplay Prize, while Pete Docter, Creative Director of Pixar Studios, will present the Best Director Prize.


The Festival de Cannes will also be honored by the exceptional presence tonight of legendary filmmaker Roger Corman, who will present the Grand Prix alongside virtuoso Quentin Tarantino.


Finally, the prestigious Palme d’or will be presented by the formidable and inspiring Jane Fonda.


The Closing Ceremony will mark the end of the 76th Festival de Cannes, and will be followed by the screening of Peter Sohn‘s film Elementary in the Grand Théâtre Lumière.


The 21 films competing for the Palme d’or this year are : Firebrand by Karim Aïnouz, Asteroid City by Wes Anderson, Rapito (Kidnapped)(Kidnapped) by Marco Bellocchio, Les Filles d’Olfa (Four Daughters)(Four Daughters) by Kaouther Ben Hania, L’Été dernier (Last Summer) (Last Summer) by Catherine Breillat, Kuru Otlar Ustune (About Dry Grasses)(About Dry Grasses) by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Le Retour (Homecoming) by Catherine Corsini, The Zone of Interest by Jonathan Glazer, Club Zero by Jessica Hausner, May December by Todd Haynes, Monster by Kore-Eda Hirokazu, Kuolleet Lehdet (Fallen Leaves)(Fallen Leaves) by Aki Kaurismäki, The Old Oak by Ken Loach, Il Sol dell’ avvenire (A Brighter Tomorrow)(A Brighter Tomorrow) by Nanni Moretti, La Chimera by Alice Rohrwacher, Black Flies by Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire, Banel e Adama by Ramata-Toulaye Sy, La Passion de Dodin Bouffant (The Pot-au-Feu) (The Pot-au-Feuby Tran Anh Hùng, Anatomie d’une chute (Anatomy of a Fall) (Anatomy of a Fallby Justine Triet, Jeunesse (Le Printemps) (Youth (Spring))(Youth (Spring)) by Wang Bing, Perfect Days by Wim Wenders.

The Closing ceremony, usually a wonderful evening to behold will be broadcast in English and French by Brut.

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