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OSUN DEFENDER: Surviving The Oyetola Onslaught To Their Dismay , By Ismaeel Uthman

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OSUN DEFENDER: Surviving The Oyetola Onslaught To Their Dismay , By Ismaeel Uthman

Recently, majority of the electorate in Osun rained curses on Ismail Omipidan (who has been nicknamed Omiparo) because of his penchant for lies and mischief.

The electorate were reacting to Omipidan’s article where he cursed them for rejecting his principal, Gboyega Oyetola, to vote for Senator Ademola Adeleke as the Governor of Osun State in 2022.

Obviously, Omipidan is yet to heal himself of the wound he suffered from the avoidable defeat of his principal in the election. That is responsible for the frivolous claims, allegations and attacks on individuals, groups and organisations he perceived to be responsible for Oyetola’s loss.

I would not have penned this, but for the purpose of setting the records straight and guide against falsehood and false narrative.. I don’t join issues with anybody who is out for cheap political gain. However, I am constrained to state the facts as a reaction to Omipidan’s last article where he told so many lies against OSUN DEFENDER in his usual manner.

The reason for his attack on the newspaper is clear. I unequivocally state that Omipidan and some other people on the Oyetola side, including some former workers of OSUN DEFENDER had thought the newspaper would not survive the onslaught on it.

Early 2020, a friend walked into OSUN DEFENDER’S office and during the cause of discussion, he declared that “you people will not benefit anything from Oyetola.

They have tagged you as Aregbesola’s mouthpiece and the governor (Oyetola) has said he will not support anything/anybody close to Aregbesola.” I thought it was an ‘asodun’ or the usual political statement from the person.

Suddenly,, our regular advertisers withdrew and our friends in government were avoiding us. The government was not also inviting OSUN DEFENDER to events again and to get reactions from the government officials was impossible again.

When we complained to Omipidan as the CPS to the governor, he said maybe it was because we didn’t have a correspondent at the Government House.

Few weeks later, OSUN DEFENDER was banned from both the Government House and the State Secretariat, Abere. We also complained to Omipidan who pretended not to be aware of such.

Anybody who identified with OSUN DEFENDER was automatically an enemy of the government. Local Government Councils were also rejecting the newspaper, likewise MDAs.

It later dawned on us that the Oyetola’ administration had declared war against OSUN DEFENDER. At a State Executive Council meeting, the newspaper discussed and it was declared anti-government for reporting the truth and accommodating dissenting voices to the administration.

And we had to stay on a professional lane where any of our stories was never faulted with fact since that time till now. OSUN DEFENDER was and is still perceived as part of Aregbesola’s legacies to be destroyed by the Oyetolas.

They had thought the newspaper would not survive Oyetola’s administration. They also believed the paper would fold up as soon as Aregbesola ended his term as Minister. But we’re waxing stronger; to their chagrin and dismay.

Of course, Omipidan’s vituperation is further understood with OSUN DEFENDER’s lead story in the current edition of the newspaper where we reported that “Oyetola’s loyalists, APC officials defect to PDP in Ilesa”. That is the actual cause of his article. Are the defectors not Oyetola’s loyalists? Should OSUN DEFENDER not report happenings involving the former governor again?

I was not expecting the kind of lies found in Omipidan’s article because of this holy Month of Ramadan in which we’re to refrain from sinful act (s). How could Omipidan claimed that his principal paid OSUN DEFENDER N20m when he actually knows the story of who his principal paid the money to.

The state government was actually owing the newspaper N22million but it was never paid to OSUN DEFENDER. Instead of paying the money to the account of Moremi Publishing House (Publisher of OSUN DEFENDER newspaper), the government paid into Dunlap’s account, a private company owned by Mr Ayo Akinola who was sacked by the management of the newspaper.

We were aware of the grand conspiracy between some government officials and Akinola to deprive the newspaper of the money. We should ask Omipidan why the Oyetola administration was unwilling to probe the fraudulent transaction.

The same Ayo Akinola who was used for the fraudulent transaction later became Oyetola’s friend. To set the record straight, Oyetola never paid a dime to OSUN DEFENDER and the newspaper never benefitted anything from his government as Omipidan wants unsuspecting members of the public to believe.

I recall that when Oyetola and his boys, including Omipidan and some former staff members of OSUN DEFENDER were frustrating the award which the NUJ South-West wanted to give to Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola as the Grand patron of the union in the region in 2021, I posted an open challenge on my Facebook account in which I asked both the active and former workers of the newspaper to state the number of months and the amount of salaries they were owed by the newspaper. None of them could come out. Egbon Shalom was a top contributor to that post.

OSUN DEFENDER newspaper never owed anybody a dime. When the paper was shut down in 2019 for restructuring, everybody was paid his or her due benefits. There was no protest of any form from the workers, not to talk of carrying placards against Aregbesola.

But I couldn’t blame Omipidan for the false narrative. He must have been misinformed by some former staff members of the newspaper who are now with Oyetola, or he is being mischievous.

Like I will always say to those people, if you were employed by somebody who paid your salary for between 10 and 15 years, you owe such individual some level of respect and honour.

You should at least not badmouth nor attack his integrity to gain favour from your new master. Aside the elderly ones, everyone of us who joined OSUN DEFENDER between 2006 and 2010 have basic accomplishments (we all pursued our education career, built houses and got married with children) from our earnings and other benefits associated with our workplace.

I believe if there were suitable offers while working with OSUN DEFENDER, my people would have jumped at it then, but there was no job out there. Ka dupe lowo eniti o di ikuku funi, eeyan ni ko wo ibiti a wa.

I also recall that the former Secretary to the state government, Prince Wole Oyebamiji and Omipidan went to the National Secretariat of the NUJ in Abuja to dissuade the National Executive of the union from approving the Grand Patron of the NUJ Zone B Award for Aregbesola.

It was alleged that the duo went with a sum of N5 million. I commend the Vice Chairman, Zone B of the NUJ, Mr Cosmos Oni and the South West Secretary of the union, Mr Bamigbola Gbolagunte for standing firm on the matter.

In the history of Osun, no governor had ever been nice to the NUJ than Aregbesola. The union benefitted greatly from his administration. The buses currently being used by the Union and the Corespondents’ Chapel were donated by Aregbesola as Governor.

Instead of the unprovoked attack on individual, group or organization perceived not to be loyal to his principal (Oyetola) Omipidan should learn how to win such persons to Oyetola’s side. He should from his predecessor, Mr Niyi Adesina who managed both perceived friends and foes of Oyetola.

So far, Omipidan has secured enough enemies for Oyetola than friends, he has also incurred the wrath of the electorate in Osun.

Long Live OSUN DEFENDER!

Ismaeel Uthman

(This article doesn’t represent the view of the management or staff of OSUN DEFENDER newspaper).

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