THE ONE WHO TOOK THE MEDIA BY STORM

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Olusegun Osoba pays tribute to Nduka Obaigbena, publisher of THISDAY and Chairman of Arise Television, at age 60

I have already conveyed my apologies to Nduka Obaigbena for my inability to be physically present to share in the joy of his entrance into the Diamond Club. As he knows and many in this audience also know while he turned 60 July 14, I turned 80 the day after, July 15. As it has been my practice in recent years, I have chosen to have a private celebration with my family out of the country.

As a mark of my respect for him, I had asked Lanre Idowu, CEO Diamond Publications, to represent me.

Against conventional wisdom, Nduka made his bold appearance on the media scene in 1986 with ThisWeek magazine, without any apprenticeship in any of the established media stables of that era such as the Daily Times, The Punch, Concord or the Guardian. Yet he had been able to gather a number of stars from these established media houses to produce a most stimulating magazine.

His audaciousness was arresting. In time, we made his other’s acquaintances. He sees me as a godfather and I, in turn, have always seen him as a godson. I see a number of things in him that remind me of my younger days. Like me, he is committed to the development of the media. Like me, a past president of the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria, Nduka is the current president of the NPAN. Like me, he is a bundle of energy who packs a lot into his day, and who finds it easy to make friends.

Nduka is an incredibly gifted man, who is always coming up with great ideas that excite society. It is not for fun that he is described as the Duke.

A duke is a noble man of the highest social or hereditary rank, an accomplished person, who dominates his environment. Nduka Obaigbena, in many ways, dominates the media and entertainment scene. His THISDAY remains top of the media ladder of influential newspapers. His Arise TV is waxing stronger and his periodic interventions in fashion and music continue to raise the bar.

So as he celebrates his 60th birthday, my wife, Aderinsola, joins me in wishing him continued success in his undertakings. If I am not tired at 80, Nduka, at 60, should be rejuvenated. More is expected from him. May he be counted among the rank of progressive forces committed to the continued growth, development and unity of a restructured Nigeria.
Happy birthday, Nduka, the Duke!

Chief Osoba, CON, veteran journalist, is a former Governor of Ogun State