By; Sunday Arayemi
Renowned Journalist and publisher of Ovation publisher Bashorun Dele Momodu is set to launch three separate books to commemorate 25 years of the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, adjudged the freest in the history of the country. The event will also mark the 20th anniversary of Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola’s demise on July 7, 1998.
The books will be launched on July 12 at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Lagos according to a statement issued by the celebrated publisher.
The first two books, authored by Chief Momodu, document his quintessential journalistic works over the past three decades.
First of the three, titled: “PENDULUM: The Writings of Dele Momodu Vol I,is a compendium of the works of Dele Momodu and is edited by Dr. Reuben Abati.
The second book, titled: “PENDULUM: The Writings of Dele Momodu Vol II,” is edited by Prince Damola Aderemi.
The third book, titled: “FIGHTING LIONS,” is the untold story of the Dele Momodu presidential campaign and is authored by Ohimai Godwin Amaize, who was appointed Chief Momodu’s presidential campaign manager in 2010 at the very young age of 26.
Dr. Abati wrote the introduction of the manuscript for the first book in 1997 and the foreword to the second book was written by Lieutenant General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma.
In his introduction to “PENDULUM: The Writings of Dele Momodu Vol I,” Abati gives a compelling narrative on Momodu’s exit from Nigeria to exile in the United Kingdom in the dark days of the Abacha regime.
“He had to flee Nigeria in 1995, when the rumours and charges became insistent that he was one of the brains behind Radio Freedom International (later Radio Kudirat), the pro-democracy, underground radio which continues to challenge the annulment of the Presidential elections of June 12 1993, and the detention of its undeclared winner, Bashorun M.K.O. Abiola. One of the charges against Momodu was that he was too close to Abiola and too involved in the struggle for June 12. Momodu moved several steps ahead of the intelligence service, and escaped through neighbouring Ghana. The truth, as he later confessed, is that a friendly security agent had advised him to flee. In Nigeria, anything is possible. How Momodu got to this stage in his career is in part the content of this book. How Nigeria became in the 90s a country where the best and the brightest head for the border to escape imprisonment, or frustration or poverty: How the best and the brightest, not wanting this option choose the alternatives of fraud, deception by all means, abandonment of principles, cynicism and anger: How Nigeria in the 90s became a playfield of hate, assassination, murder, power-rage, an atomistic society, adrift, lost, and depleted: that is the focus of this book.” Abati wrote.
In his foreword to “PENDULUM: The Writings of Dele Momodu Vol II.”, Danjuma recognized Momodu’s exceptional contributions to the Nigerian media.
He wrote: “When the story of the revolution that ushered in a new political day in Nigeria is eventually told, none of the main dramatis personae would forget the sterling roles played by the ever-vibrant Nigerian media. But among the largely fair and patriotic reportage and analyses that really made a huge difference, the efforts of few journalists stood out. Dele Momodu’s column, Pendulum, published every Saturday by ThisDay, is among these outstanding few. Not only has this column over the years helped set many a national socio-political agenda, it has become the virtual weekend tonic for millions of Nigerians for its forthright, often unabashed opinions about varied national and international issues.”
In the foreword to FIGHTING LIONS written by Dr. Doyinsola Abiola, Chief Abiola’s wife and Momodu’s former boss, she wrote;
“FIGHTING LIONS, the compendium of DELE MOMODU’s unique presidential campaign brings back memories of another, closer to home, presidential campaign of MOSHOOD KASHIMAWO ABIOLA’s titanic HOPE ’93 presidential campaign. The major difference is that Dele lives to fight another day while KASHIMAWO, the 13th, AARE ONAKAKANFO of Yorubaland, who, true to his chieftaincy legend, died in the fray. But history will treat both friends kindly because they dared to fight lions even in their dens. They will not be classified as “those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat”. They fought a good battle, with the help of equally unsung campaign teams which gave their all to their respective campaigns.”
The review of “PENDULUM: The Writings of Dele Momodu Vol I” is billed to be done by celebrated author and Chairman of the Editorial Board of Thisday Newspapers, Olusegun Adeniyi at the book launch in July.
The second volume of the book will reviewed by respected columnist and Publisher of TheCable, Simon Kolawole, while the Managing Director of Arise News Channel, Ijeoma Nwogwugwu, will review FIGHTING LIONS.