That was the message. It was short but weighty; it was a call to duty. I had applied to work for Oyoinsight weeks back and there was the back and forth but that message that morning had only one meaning, Welcome on board.
7 months down the line, I have moved from being a reporter to being an editor(?). Even though I still tell myself to calm down because I am still a campus journalist, the level of growth I have experienced working under Egbon Sikiru Akinola is at the least, remarkable.
I remember sometimes in April when the pandemic started raging, I wrote this report about how people still travel in and out of a town in Oyo State despite the closure of the border and the dangers this pose to the state but this story didn’t sit down well with the powers that be in that town. They started calling him to bring down the story, not because it’s false but because according to them, it speaks ill of the town.
At first, I thought it was a joke but when some people started paying some local media houses to write a rejoinder to the report and they started searching for me, I knew I was in for it. I even received a couple of phony messages.
A former Minister from the state even reported me to the king of that town and some other people but cool and smart as he is, Oga Sikiru did not bring down the story and we weathered the storm.
Alaafin of Ibadan, as I call him once in a while is humble, selfless, and straightforward. He rarely beat around the bush. Once he makes his point and you don’t get it, he’ll leave you to your problems.
He has listening hears too. He listens to the most stupid of ideas with rapt attention and calmly explains to you why it won’t work. As for great ideas, he keeps them with his left hand (because he uses his right hand for Amala and Coke).
“if you need the contact of someone in Oyo State and Sikiru Akinola does not have it or at least, know someone who has it, forget it, that person is not that relevant.”
I should perhaps also state that there is this joke about him, ‘if you need the contact of someone in Oyo State and Sikiru Akinola does not have it or at least, know someone who has it, forget it, that person is not that relevant.’
To be candid, I think this is true because he is well-connected in every corridor of power in the state.
Born in Apaara. At 34, Sikiru Akinola has made his mark as a Publisher, PR Executive, entrepreneur and, many more.
On the occasion of your birthday sir, I write to say thank you for everything.
Adebayo Abdulrahman is the Managing Editor at Oyoinsight.com