From Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former governor of Ogun State, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, Minister of Youths and Sports Sunday Dare and the Olu of Ilaro, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle, on Wednesday showered encomiums on the Chief Staff to the Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Kayode Odunaro, for being a courageous, steadfast and diligent media manager.
The trio in their respective goodwill messages at the presentation of an autobiography, ‘Colour of Perception – An Autobiography’ and 60th birthday celebration of Odunaro, lauded the author for doing a thorough job of encapsulating his experiences in a book.
Osoba, who said he inherited the author as a Chief Press Secretary from the military government in 1999, described him as a hardworking journalist and thorough media manager.
He noted that Odunaro had come to him when he emerged as governor in 1999 as a stoic journalist, saying pressure from the political class in his native Yewaland forced him to drop him as his CPS.
Osoba, who recalled how Odunaro robustly engaged and defended his administration against the campaign of calumny by his successor, even at the expense of his life, further praised him for being loyal and upright.
The former governor, however, said he disagreed with some aspects in the conclusion of the book, particularly the events that surrounded the 2003 general elections, saying “Odunaro was just being dodgy; he didn’t want to offend anybody”.
Osoba said though he had since put the event of 2003 behind him, which according to him was a calculated conspiracy to rig the outcome of the poll. He, therefore, commended the author for being there when he faced torment from his successor.
“Odunaro was in the thick of the event of that election and he knew what eventually happened. I knew the election would be rigged, but I still continued. I also had enough evidence to head to the election tribunal and challenged the result but I decided to let go. When my successor began to soil my administration, Odunaro stood up to them. He was issuing a series of press releases to counter their attempt to tarnish my image.
“At a stage, he was invited by my successor who cajoled him and courted him and asked him to switch sides. But he stood his ground, even at the detriment of his own life. So, Odunaro is a man after my earth, and that is why I decided to grace the occasion despite my condition”, Osoba stated.
The Minister of Youths and Sports, Sunday Dare, who was the chairman of the occasion, said the literary piece captured Odunaro’s pan Nigerian personality.
Represented by Israel Jaiye Opayemi, President of PRACAN, Dare added that the book which covers the sojourn of Odunaro in journalism, politics, governance and government, would serve as a good text for students of Mass Communication and History.
In his remarks, the Olu of Ilaro and Paramount Ruler of Yewaland, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle, described the author as a good ambassador of Yewaland and shining example of Ogun state.
Reviewing the book, Dr Festus Adedayo said the 318 pages and 38 chapters autobiography offered different colours of the life and service of the writer.
Adedayo added that the book, which he noted is a combination of aesthetics and intellectual richness, is beyond biography but a historical rendition of military and civilian administration.
In his welcome address, Oduanro explained he decided to write the autobiography to expose his work experience to the world, particularly the upcoming journalists and media managers.