Sunday, March 7, 2021
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A German media practitioner, Herman Ziock painted graphically the role of the media practitioner in the publication: “Man and the Press; German Opinion on Problems of Today’’ the Press has two different responsibilities: it can be either the “bringer of light” or the “root of all evil, depending on those who make the press. “It sounds flattering when Jasper writes: “Great journalists beget great veracity”. But not everyone can be a “great journalist”. “Nonetheless, no one is prevented from striving for veracity’’ Even Emperor Napoleon recognized this very crucial role and designated the press as the “fifth great power’’ PERSONAL ENCOUNTERS: I got a feel of part of the personality of Akinrogun Olusegun Osoba for the first time in the early 1980s, through a physical encounter at the defunct Sketch Press Ltd, Ibadan where he held sway and Managing Director. He came to the newspaper on a salvage mission from Nigerian Herald Newspapers, Ilorin that he similarly revived and repositioned for better operational standards.  We met at by the staircase. Quite naturally, I gave way to allow him to take the lead. He motioned to me to move.  I complied and made my way to late Chief Peter Ajayi’s office to interview him on the implications of the palace coup of 1985.  I couldn’t have enjoyed this type of passage in the civil service of the early years where you dared not meet a senior official in the elite Administrative class on the staircase.  I remember an incident at the Government Secretariat, Ibadan in 1980 when a GL 12 Administrative Officer ran back from going on the staircase because Princess Tejumade Alakija was descending the staircase. Mama Alakija was the Head of Service. I asked the officer why he reversed with speed after Mama Alakija departed. He told me they must hold such bosses in awe. I noticed that wasn’t the case with journalism and the newsrooms. A PERFECTIONIST: I noticed that Chief Segun Osoba was characteristically restless, going here and there on the premises – the trait of a perfectionist and a journalist with nose for news. I later went to meet another first-class journalist, late Chief Peter Ajayi, whom I actually I went to interview.. The next physical contact with Segun Osoba was at the Dodan Barracks, Lagos; the then seat of Nigeria’s Head of State/Military President. I think in was in 1985, at an important event. Akinrogun…

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