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Osun Defender And Their Lies Against My Person



Alawo's Stool: Stop Lying Against Oyetola - Omipidan Replies Adeleke's Spokesperson

By Ismail Omipidan

By my nature, I don’t discuss personalities. I rather dwell on issues. However, circumstances have compelled me to do this. I, therefore, apologise in advance to my admirers, and well-wishers. Rest assured that because of the individual involved, I won’t go beyond this one response.

For long, I had refrained from joining issues with Ismaeel Uthman, the deputy editor of Osun Defender, who has been struggling hard to be confirmed the substantive editor of the paper. My reason for not wanting to join issues with him was largely because of the wife and the younger brother. These are people who respect me and I respect as well. But since Ismaeel has refused to respect boundaries, I should also be excused.

To start with, you opened your piece with a blatant falsehood. Maybe, I will have to press further, so you could provide details of how I allegedly cursed the Osun electorate. I wrote in English, not Yoruba or Egun. For the avoidance of doubt, here is what I actually said in the concluding part of the piece, which Ismaeel Uthman and his promoters deliberately distorted to achieve their devilish purpose: “Like I said the last time, I will reiterate here that all those who connived to unleash Governor Ademola Adeleke on Osun did not mean well for the state. Posterity will be harsh on them.”

Now, look at the headline of the story Uthman and his patrons published in their newspaper: “Adeleke: Oyetola’s Spokesperson Lays Curse On Osun Voters.” I am not surprised. I have come to realise that virtually all those around Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola lie with impunity. My brother, at the risk of sounding immodest, you can only work in a place like Osun Defender that has no regard for the truth and decency that the practice of journalism requires.

I have seen some of the riff-raffs around you sharing your lies that Osun electorate cursed me. Besides the fact that it is a lie, in the history of Osun politics, apart from probably some of the current set of players, I doubt if we have had set of liars like you guys. Sadly, you do it shamelessly without blinking an eye. When people do good, and some people decide to curse the person, his hand work will pray for him and vice versa.

I knew a day like this would come, and that is why I kept my records straight. Recall our first encounter on the phone after Oyetola appointed his commissioners and Boda Lani did not make the list. You called for my reaction to a story, and I told you if Boda Lani had made the cabinet, would you have wanted to do the story? I went further to say that “until some weeks ago, your boss, was a Supervisor in this government. I am sure, you know the answer to the question you are asking me because you were all part of the government even before I came.”

In spite of that, I was still patronising Osun Defender. I gave adverts to the paper and I paid without owing a dime. Even when attempt was made to give me a commission, I turned it down.

Find out about me and my stewardship in Osun very well. But in doing that, don’t interview your disciples. It is only those around Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola that harbor unwarranted animosity toward me. Even those in the PDP don’t harbor as much disdain as you Aregbesola guys, and the only reason for that is that you had all thought with what you planned, there would be no one to take the bullets for Oyetola and fire the shots where necessary at you. It is for this reason you hated my guts. Pure and simple! Another set of PDP members who hate me like you guys are those with Hon. Kolapo Alimi. And the reason is simple, you guys are same part of a coin.

I always refrain from self-praise. However, if we deploy the Looking Glass theory of Psychology, I am proud of my stewardship. I recall my encounter with pensioners on Rave FM. I was told to my face that I was the only Government official, both at the time and in the past , who the pensioners did not attempt to beat up after the show. Ask Boda Lani. But like I said, I will not go on self glorification. I leave that to the people.

Regarding the over N20m payment, I am happy you acknowledged the payment. But in the Osun Defender’s characteristics way of twisting facts, you attempted to twist the facts. If you don’t know, find out from those who know. Mr. Akinola was appointed Sole administrator of the newspaper by Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola. After then, they ordered the sack of Kayode Agbaje and Chief Kola Olabisi in a controversial circumstance. And by May 30, 2019, they disengaged virtually everyone. Find out from your patron, Mr. Akinola gave a proposal to the effect that he could save Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola the trouble of paying salaries, saying he could run the paper, pay rent and remit some money to Aregbesola. So, he was already acting on behalf of the company. How will you now blame the government for whatever it is that he did to the company. I am equally aware the company prosecuted him and made recovery. My point is, if Oyetola is what you are portraying him to be, would he have paid the debt your patron could not even pay as the governor? That’s the point I am making and I make bold to say that that money was responsible for the come back to life of Osun Defender. If we did not want Osun Defender to survive, one libel case is enough to send you out of circulation, but Oyetola is not an Aregbesola.

I have personal relationships with some of your staff. I, therefore, will not want to say things that would offend their sensibilities. But, to the best of my ability, I never discriminated against Osun Defender reporters and photographers. My assignments are usually open. There was a time you complained about invitation and I remember telling you that my invites are open and that since I see you guys in the Correspondents’ chapel, I believed any invite to them should ordinarily cover you. Was there any event that you or your representatives attended that you were denied access? It was you who stopped attending our functions apparently because of your conscience. You write stories without the slightest attempt to hear from the other side and you call that journalism?

If indeed, you want a future in journalism, I will advise you to toe the path of honesty, transparency and accountability that are the hallmarks of the profession. Osun Defender, certainly, cannot offer that platform.

Omipidan, a journalist and Public Affairs analyst writes from Ile Olorisa Compound, Eyindi, Ila Orangun.

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