WORLD EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW:
Everyone is asking how Nigerian Politicians raise N100million to buy Presidential Nomination Forms as Public Office Holders-OLUSEYE OLUGBEMIGA KEHINDE, City People Media Group Publisher
… My colleagues and I led Investigative Guerrilla Journalism in Nigeria fighting oppressive Military Junta to a standstill as Editor of TEMPO Magazine, we were publishing underground
* Missing $75,000 cash at the political convergence of the All Progressive Congress ought to have been captured on CCTV, monumental fraud have the support of some insiders who are so sure that nothing will come out of it
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*Big time Nigerian political players deliberately raised the bar of nomination forms to edge out the youths, Plans on-going to expand City people magazine into other African countries
*Commend senior colleagues who were founding fathers of The News Magazine: Mr Bayo Onanuga, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, Mr Idowu Obasa; Mr Dapo Olorunyomi and Mr Kunle Ajibade, Mother raised him to be humble in life
*General ethics of the press comes with good journalism practice, relationship with Kunle Bakare, Femi Akintunde-Johnson, Dele Momodu; Mayor Akinpelu always intact
*“Media practitioners have been holding the government accountable. Public office holders don’t care any longer. No one cares and things are done with impunity. So bad is the situation that corruption is now so rampant. And public office holders have become so brazen in the way they mismanage funds”
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HIS NAME IS OLUSEYE OLUGBEMIGA KEHINDE, a 57-year-old successful, soft-spoken highly celebrated Nigerian journalist famous in Africa and whose name rings the bell outside the shores of the continent for his brilliance, dogged investigative scoops, detailed editorial analysis which is why he’s regarded as the ‘godfather of Celebrity Journalism in Nigeria’. This Ishara born news professional had his Diploma of Journalism, holds a Bachelor of Arts in History & Political Science at Obafemi Awolowo University and completed his NYSC in Kwara State Polytechnic.
The ever-smiling media giant had his journalism stint as a reporter in Newswatch magazine, where he held the position of Library Assistant in 1986 and worked in the following media outfits: Herald in 1988, The Insider Confidential newsletter as a Senior Correspondent in 1989, Head in International Desk in 1990; became a Senior Writer in Tribune in 1991, worked for African Concord as a staff writer same year to his retirement in 1992. Due to his exceptional news gathering skills, he was invited to African Guardian as an Assistant Editor there he served from 1992 to 1994. Also, he worked with the TheNEWS magazine as a Senior Editor and Chief Editor in Tempo magazine; after which in 1995 he began setting up The City People Magazine. He was also among the founding team of PM News. S.K., as fondly called by admirers was the thorn in the flesh of Nigeria’s military junta and face of resistance against dictatorship in Africa’s most populous black nation.
In this interactive session with the American Editorial Team of Naija Standard Newspaper, the Editor-in-Chief/Publisher, City People Media Group, who had related, still fighting for the masses of the country through his weekly informative publication breaks the ice on his appraisal of the Nigerian press performance under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, how to hold public office holder accountable, evergreen career moments:
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*BY GEORGE ELIJAH OTUMU/AMERICAN Senior Investigative Editor
NAIJA STANDARD: What is your appraisal of the performance of Nigerian press in the present democratic practice in the country?
The Nigerian press has tried its possible best in the present circumstances, but the situation of things in the country is terrifying. The economic situation is crippling. The security situation is frightening and innocent people are being killed at will. Everyday, the Media highlights these issues and practitioners write scathing editorials holding the government accountable to its statutory responsibilities. But is the government listening? I doubt it.
NAIJA STANDARD: Will you say media practitioners have held public office holders accountable enough for their stewardship to the masses?
I believe so. But public office holders don’t care any longer. No one cares and things are done with impunity. So bad is the situation that corruption is now so rampant. And public office holders have become so brazen in the way they mismanage funds. Despite the pervasive poverty in the land, more and more politicians with no visible source of income are buying Presidential nomination forms at outrageous amounts like 100 million Naira.
NAIJA STANDARD: Recently, a princely sum of $75,000 cash was discovered missing at the political convergence of the All Progressive Congress (APC) yet the party could not still find the fund. Don’t you think the CCTV should have shed light on this secret?
Yes, I agree. But the truth is that such monumental fraud will have the support of some insiders who are so sure that nothing will come out of it.
NAIJA STANDARD: Both the Peoples Democratic Party and APC are selling presidential form for candidates for N100 million, governorship for 50 Million Naira. How do you think the youth could ever raise this hefty sum to occupy any position of leadership?
The big players deliberately raised the bar to edge out outsiders, especially the youths.
NAIJA STANDARD: S.K, you were the Editor of Tempo WEEKLY Magazine, the best Investigative journal that fought the then oppressive Nigerian military to a standstill. Eventually you were arrested alongside a few other colleagues at various times. What lessons did that period teach you?
It taught me a lot of things professionally. It made me grow up fast. I became an Editor at a relatively young age 29 years ago. I was in my thirties at that time and we engaged in what was called Guerrilla Journalism. We were publishing underground. We were the Editors of The News magazine, which gave birth to Tempo Magazine after The News was proscribed. The mantle of Editorship fell on me and I had to edit the fiery weekly magazine for about 3years, after which I went on to start City people magazine as Publisher.
The magazine is 25 years old. I commend my senior colleagues who were founding fathers of The News Magazine, like Mr Bayo Onanuga, Senator Babafemi Ojudu,Mr Idowu Obasa, Mr Dapo Olorunyomi and Mr Kunle Ajibade. Recall that we all resigned in anger from African Concord when the then President,Ibrahim Babangida insisted that we apologize to him for a Special Edition we published on NIGERIA which he saw as insulting.
NAIJA STANDARD: Your media group, City People remains rock solid in the nation’s media circle for years, still expanding and breaking new grounds. What were the secrets of your long, unbroken success streak?
It’s the Grace of God and the rugged determination that we cannot just afford to fail
NAIJA STANDARD: Millions of Nigerians in the Diaspora have been asking why you remain so humble in spite of your overwhelming media success…
That is how I was raised. That is the effect of my Mother’s influence on me.
NAIJA STANDARD: Since you established City People Magazine, not once has your media platform or any of your staff been mentioned in any scandal. What are the ethics of your media outfit?
None. This is because we abide by the general ethics which comes with good journalism practice.
NAIJA STANDARD: Unarguably, millions of people call you the ‘god father of Celebrity Journalism in Nigeria’. Can you take us through those evergreen moments in your society Journalism adventure with Kunle Bakare, Mayor Akinpelu, Femi Akintunde Johnson and Dele Momodu?
Am I the godfather ??? No, I don’t think so. I have just been doing my own beat of it. It has been a collective effort. All the guys you have mentioned are very great professionals.
NAIJA STANDARD: Your good friend, Dele Momodu is contesting to become the President of Nigeria. What is your candid advice for him to win?
My advice to him is not to give up.He is doing wonderfully well.
NAIJA STANDARD: What are your plans to expand City People into other African countries and outside the shores of the African continent?
We are on it. Plans are on-going.
NAIJA STANDARD: Finally, are there other media projects City People media group have on-going or in the pipeline before the end of the year?
The battle now is how to survive this perilous time. We are working on new strategies.
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