One of the virtues I’ve learnt over the years is NEVER to make enemies in workplaces but strive to do my best and leave the rest to God. Among my colleagues, I’m popular not because I’m Aliko Dangote but personal relationships. A journey I started some 25 years ago is still yielding dividends.
Recently, I stormed Lagos Newsrooms of some Newspapers and was happy after the ovation I received from the high and low. Some said I’ve added a little, others said I’m doing well, whatever it means.
The Nation: My teacher, Prof. Adebayo Williams expected me some days earlier but I couldn’t make it because of other commitments. I wanted to surprise him, but when I called he said he wasn’t around. From the gate to the offices, I finally berthed in their Newsroom. After ten minutes, I decided to pay homage to the Doyen of Sports Journalism (I call him the Grandfather), Adetokunbo Ohioze Ojeikere and was ushered into his office by Morakinyo Abodunrin where we reflected on the NATIONAL INTEREST Sports Squad and how the paper was a serious threat to THISDAY. From Sports, I went to the Weekend Desk. Although my senior Brother and former Editor in NI, Festus Eriye wasn’t around, my friend and predecessor in Great Ife, Gboyega Alaka made me happy. I spoke with Josef Jibueze earlier and we greeted well.
I appreciate the reception accorded me by my friend and classmate, Lucas Ajanaku Lucas Ajanaku and the entire Business Desk: Kelvin Osa Okunbo, Muyiwa Lucas Omobolanle Kusimo and others. I was also received by my BIG oga who knows my village in ABAVO, Emma Anya and the great investigator who told TheNEWS in TELL while others ‘watched’ it, Adekunle Yusuf I couldn’t see Oga Lawee, LAWAL OGIENAGBON and the MD/Editor-in-Chief, Elder Godwin Ifijeh, to pay homage but Dr. EMMANUEL OLADESU (Group Politics Editor) and Sunday Oguntola were among my hosts.
What interested me was the way the Editor of The Nation, FRANCIS ADENIYI ADESINA received me. We cracked jokes together, with other editorial staff, he didn’t even blink his eyes if my mission, in their Newsroom, was to steal their exclusive story. This aroused curiosity because of an incident which was said to have happened in the office of a popular Newspaper in Abuja around 2011: A journalist and judiciary correspondent in Champion Newspapers, UCHECHUKWU MEBRIM visited a colleague and came to the Newsroom. His host was queried while his ‘unsatisfactory’ response earned him suspension. And earlier in October 2010, a similar incident happened. A wife visited same colleague. His ‘unsatisfactory’ response to a query on why his wife was ‘eating in the Newsroom’, earned him suspension. The perpetrator has indirectly expressed remorse over his mistakes but because of ego, refused to apologize openly for his misdeeds. The aggrieved has promised to document all these in his memoirs.
Telegraph: Here I was guest to the Editor, Juliet Bumah Politics Editor, Felix Nwaneri News Editor, Ndubuisi Ugah and Aviation Editor, WOLE SHADARE. The whereabouts of my Brother, Isioma Madike Isioma Joseph Madike and Sunday Ojeme were unknown as I also made efforts to greet Geoffrey Ekenna and Biyi Adegoroye I was briefed that Wale Elegbede ti japa, and Juliana Francis ti kuro, ‘but still writes’ I met Brother FESTUS ABU, but unfortunately for me, the Great Sports-Salam Adekunle Salami wasn’t available.
The Sun: I was ushered in here by Felix Nwaneri who I have known since Daily Champion days to see other former colleagues. I was received by the Editor and senior counsellor, Iheanacho Nwosu Deputy (News) Editor and long time elder brother who I’ve known since 1994, Owaen Nat Beifoh Osewele Politics Editor, Wilfred Eya Wilfred Eya my NI boss, Pastor Amaechi Amechi Ogbonna Defence Editor, Philip Nwosu and Sister Jessica Oje-Humphrey Jimoh. Saturday Sun Editor, Tope Bentop Adeboboye and my sister, Chinelo Agina Obogo were unavoidably not on ground to receive me. Thank you Brother CLETUS for leading me to the way out of the premises.
At another occasion, I saw, for the first time, my colleague, Jane Onozure Dania where I also met my brother, Henry Ifeanyi Ojelu.
I thank you all for making my 2023 annual leave memorable!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Olokor is Group Politics Editor of The PUNCH