By Tunde Akanbi
In recent times, no appointment made by the President of the Senate, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has attracted and commandeered huge public attention as the appointment of Alhaji Abdullahi Olesin as Senior Legislative Aide on Media.
It was a huge jubilation among the men of the pen profession when the news of his appointment was announced .
Admirably referred to as the “Waziri” of Kwara Journalists, Olesin is one person that has humbly paid his dues in the journalism practice and traversed all areas, thus became a cysnosure of all eyes in the profession.
Apart from his landmark record in the pen fraternity, he is also a community man and a social mobilizer. Abdullahi Olesin’s love for Ilorin community where he hails from recently added an ornament to his regalia with his appointment as an ex-officio of the Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressives Union (IEDPU), an apex socio-cultural organization of Ilorin city. He is a key loyalist of the Saraki’s dynasty who has been using his media professional acumen to mold the image of the Sarakites positively.
He cherishes his religion, Islam and does most things with the fear of God. He is a devoted Muslim with passion for prayers. Olesin is a contented human being, humble, reliable, highly respectful but does not condone anything untoward on account of his principles.
When it comes to union politicking particularly in the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) which he belongs, we call him “Mr Fix it”; albeit he is a true democrat. He is good at scheming and despite his height, he is never a pushover. His voice and his decisions are very strong and germane at any fora.
One thing that again makes Abdulllahi Olesin unique and stand out among his colleagues is his penchant for news writing. In fact, his versatility is unmatchable. Among his contemporaries, Olesin will always be the first reporter to package his stories. Little wonder, the appointment of Olesin has continued to elicit positive reactions from right, left and centre. Though the new appointment seems long overdue, it is hoped he would be given the wherewithal by the powers that be in the political chess game to discharge his duties passionately , professionally, with utmost fear of God and in the general interest of his constituents.
Kudos should be given to Dr Bukola Saraki for discovering one of us as his Senior Legislative Aide (Media). Definitely, his appointment would positively add to the image of the number three citizen in the country. Olesin is blunt to a fault and always stand by the truth and nothing but the truth, and it is our hope that by the time he too tests the corridor of powers, he would not be a negatively changed person .
Though, he once served as the Editor of The Herald Newspaper during the tenure of Late Alhaji Mohammed Lawal and until his new appointment , the Regional Editor of the Leadership Newspapers in the North Central, these two offices were not enough to judge or determine who Olesin could be .
Now that he is about to step into a more juicy position, Nigerian journalists or the Ilorin community can now adjudge him better. With my years of relationship with Olesin, I can beat my chest that he would not disappoint. Rather, he would throw in the towel and go back to his reportorial beat where his reputation is held in high esteem if he is not given the free hand to operate professionally .
A graduate of Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), Abdullahi Olesin is a member of the prestigious Nigeria Guild of Editors (NGE). He started his journalism career in 1991 with the defunct Kwara Voice Newspaper. He joined The Herald in 1992 and was at different times Crime/Judicial Reporter, City Editor (Ibadan, Oyo State), Assistant News Editor, News Editor and finally Editor ( Daily) of the Newspaper in September 1999, a position he occupied till February, 2014. In December 2005, he joined the Leadership Newspapers and was elevated to the position of a Regional Editor (North Central) in October 2011. Olesin, an active member of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), was a two-time Secretary of the Correspondent Chapel of the Oyo State Council of the NUJ between 1993 to 1997. Under the same period, he served as the Financial Secretary of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Oyo State Chapter. Olesin is a patron of The Herald Chapel of the NUJ, Kwara State Council.
However, it is quite unfortunate, painful and disgusting that most Journalists that took political appointments are always a big disappointment to their constituents . These same people criticize the powers that be before getting the plum jobs and immediately they assume higher positions, they tell series of bicycle stories .
They are ignorant of a Yoruba adage that says “Butterfly that goes up, will surely and verily come down”. Against this background, I want to say categorically that I’m not envious of any political appointee more so that I have not had the opportunity of occupying one in the past or even lobbied to occupy any. There is God ooo.
Olesin, we are proud of your appointment, because it is seen as a New Ray of Hope. And it is our hope that Journalists would do everything positively possible to support you to achieve success in your new endeavour to further project the image of your Principal , the President of the Senate. Our dear colleague, you are assuming duties at a more challenging period when the Nigerian Polity is becoming frenzy, more so that the 2019 general elections are around the corner.
With the formal declaration of incumbent President , Muhammadu Buhari to seek re-election for the country’s number one position under the All Progressives Congress (APC) , the new appointee and others on the payroll of the President of the Senate have a great task ahead of them.They would need to display absolute professionalism in the discharge of their duties particularly at the state level, Kwara, the country home of the number three citizen.
There are already a lot of gang ups within the same APC, and the opposition party against Saraki for reasons best known to the “Coup Plotters”. For the sake of emphasis, Olesin’s appointment is coming at a challenging period with the general elections few months away.
He and others have to do lot of image laundering for their Principal, the President of the Senate and by extension, all the anointed candidates of the APC for them to continue to be relevant before the very eyes of the electorate. Olesin, this is a litmus text for you, and as you begin the new journey that is a bit different to your chosen profession , it is our prayer that the Almighty Allah will see you through (Amen).
Akanbi, writes from Ilorin email@example.com