9 November 2017

Nigeria: Osinbajo, Ribadu, Others Pay Tribute to Premium Times Publisher On 60th Birthday

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday joined other Nigerians to pay tributes to the publisher and chief executive officer of PREMIUM TIMES, Dapo Olorunyomi, as he clocked 60.

At an event Wednesday at Fraser Suites in Abuja, the vice president described 'Dapsy' as he is fondly called "as a man with a big heart who has inspired everyone around him."

He said he had known Mr. Olorunyomi for over 20 years and "he still remains one of the most reliable and transparent persons I have ever met."

"Dapsy is a respectful human being, a great brother and friend who has inspired so many, including all of us who are standing here today.

"Cheers to you Dapo for 60 more years," the vice president said.

Also speaking at the ceremony, a former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Nuhu Ribadu, described Mr. Olorunyomi, who also worked at the agency, as a pacesetter in the fight against corruption in Nigeria.

He said the return of Mr. Olorunyomi to Nigeria, during the country's return to democratic rule "changed the country's attitude towards the fight against corruption."

"I met him first in the United states. I said 'come back to Nigeria,' and he agreed. His coming changed our approach to the fight against corruption.

"People became more comfortable sharing information with Dapo more than with me. I once said 'Dapo I did not bring you to take my job."

Mr. Ribadu said the then president, Olusegun Obasanjo, was a bit skeptical about his (Ribadu's) decision to "work with a journalist."

"When I told President Obasanjo then, he noted that journalists are capable of doing anything including telling the truth to achieve their objectives," Mr. Ribadu said.

Mr. Ribadu described Mr. Olorunyomi as a wonderful journalist "whose contributions to his world cannot be easily forgotten."

The Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria, Bayo Onanuga, described the celebrant as a renowned "guerilla journalist" who remained relentless in his zeal to expose facts "regardless of the consequence."

Speaking earlier, an old friend of Mr. Olorunyomi and a lecturer at the Obafemi Awolowo University, then University of Ife, Ropo Sekoni, described the celebrant, as "a man of huge potentials, an incorruptible human activist, a globalist, a man of few words with many actions and lover of accurate journalism."

Another friend of the celebrant and co-founder of the News Magazine, Idowu Obasa, noted that Mr. Olorunyomi is a man of the people, "whose affiliation with individuals of different disposition gives him off as a friend of everybody."

Mr. Obasa said "it is impossible to identify Mr. Dapo, by looking at his friends."

"There are other types of friends here too. So who is Dapo?" Mr. Obasa said.

In his tribute to Mr. Olorunyomi, Sani Zoro, a former Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ president and current member of the House of Representatives, described Mr. Olorunyomi as "the master craftsman, and the true leader in investigative journalism."

Mr. Olorunyomi thanked the guests for the honour, adding that the strides or failures of any democratic setting is directly linked to how vibrant the press is in the discharge of its constitutional duties of holding leaders accountable.

On Tuesday, a separate event was also held in Lagos to honour the media icon.


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