By Glam & Essence
The publisher of Premium Times online newspaper, Mr. Dapo Olorunyomi launched a book titled,”The Testimony to Courage”. Edited by Chido Onumah and Frederick Adetiba, the book has over 90 contributions from Olorunyomi’s teachers, colleagues, associates and mentees, conceived after Olorunyomi’s 60th birthday in November 2017.
Contributors to the volume include renowned academics, media executives, journalists, activists and politicians who offered insights into Olorunyomi’s patriotism, courage, brilliance and acts of generosity through different phases of his life.Notable among the contributors are: former Lagos State governor Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu; former Osun State, Governor Rauf Aregbesola; renowned academic and writer, Prof Biodun Jeyifo; retired lecturer and columnist, Prof Ropo Sekoni, Umaru Pate, Lai Oso and activist lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN).
At the book launch, Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi,eho gave the keynote address described Olorunyomi as a builder of democratic and social change and destroyer of hegemony.
The governor hailed the Premium Times publisher for his “pivotal role” in transforming his role in the military era to present-day contemporary media.
Tracing Olorunyomi role in the establishment of Radio Freedom, an opposition radio station in the mid-1990s, Fayemi said: “Dapsy risked not only his freedom but his life to ensure that Nigeria became a democratic state.
The governor expressed concern about the role the media plays in the current democratic rule compared to its fierce reporting in the military era.
According to Fayemi,“The quality of interviews in the media has sadly declined,”.
Mr. Sunday Dare represented Asiwaju Tinubu at the event.
Quoting Asiwaju Tinubu,Mr Dare said Olorunyomi “reminds us of our past struggles as he blends nostalgia with the pains and of the struggle for better Nigeria. Through his works, we sent the military packing and entrenched democracy”.
He read out Asiwaju Tinubu’s essays and contribution in the book.
Senator Chris Anyanwu, who hailed the initiators of the book for their courage in celebrating Olorunyomi while still alive, added that the Premium Times publisher deserved a national honour,having investing in the future generation of investigative journalists.
Senator Babafemi Ojodu,a colleague/co founder of his in The News magazine who represented Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo said: “Dapo will ensure that everyone that’s is yet to be spoken to as subject in a story is spoken to before he publish.
“I didn’t even know he would live up to 60, because he lived so dangerously.”he said.
Mr Chidi Odinkalu, a former Chairman of Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), who reviewed the book, traced the roots of Olorunyomi.
“The remarkable thing highlighted by almost all the authors is that they linked Dapsy‘s outstanding humanity.”
Odinkalu lauded the brains behind the book as he gave a breakdown of how the essays were collated.
He said contributions came from Nigerian men, women, northerners and southerners, Muslims, Christians and traditional worshippers and a few atheists.
The professor also pointed out that the book reflected the true diversity of Nigeria as no part of the country was left behind.
Beyond pouring encomiums on Olorunyomi’s achievements over the years, Odinkalu described the book as a phenomenal contribution to Nigeria’s political history and civic activism.
Dapo Olorunyomi in his redponse described the remarks by various speakers as “hyperbolic”.
He said: “It is a great exaggeration about me all these things said here today. All I have done is really about the team I work with. I only contribute a little to the work.”
Olorunyomi thanked various contributors to the essays as well as the guests present.