Akogun: An Icon of Journalism @ 58

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By Abubakar Imam

For a typical industrious African like Mr. Kunle Akogun,the Director of Corporate Affairs, University of Ilorin, birthday is like any other day. No special feature or feeling is attached to it. The best he does is simple reflection or rumination on the journey so far and a careful perusal of what more he would do to immortalise himself the more.

Be that as it may, one cannot but join others in wishing our very hardworking Oga a very fruitful birthday. Mr. Akogun is a man who deserves all the accolades not only on his special day but on every other day for being an honest and exemplary leader.

Mr. Akogun, to me, is an uncommon boss, a rare leader and outstanding professional journalist and image maker who derives joy in building others into professional greatness. 

I want to repeat it here again that right from my days as a youth corp member, I have not had the privilege of serving under such a great manager of human and material resources.

If you are meeting Mr. Akogun for the first time, particularly outside his work environment, you are likely to dismiss the great son of Oke-Ode as a professional pushover. This is because he does not have the “gravitational gragra” of a pressman and because he talks less. But let him talk,you will be held spellbound. Should you come across any piece authored by him, you would have no choice aside bowing for excellence, candour and professionalism, which his pieces perpetually radiate.

Give Mr Akogun any piece on any topic he would transform it to what could be presented at any international conference within a few minutes. While he detests unnecessary delay in rendition of stories, the veteran journalist is never economical with head swelling words for those who work hard. The only person, I am very sure, who does not have a space in his heart is someone who is either not ready to work or a certified indolent.

Since I became a staff of the Directorate, which Mr. Akogun heads, I have learnt so much from him. One of those things I learnt is that those who want to exercise the liberty of remaining sad should not move close to him. If you do, you would lose that privilege. Unlike where and when you have anything to do with some bosses in some places of work; your heart will be jumping because of the manner such Ogas treat their subordinates, at the Directorate of Corporate Affairs, University of Ilorin, any member of staff who does not want to laugh needs not to be at the Director’s Office as the eminent Wordsmith would always have one joke or the other to crack sometimes to the extent that such a staff may even forget his or her mission.

Mr. Akogun is indeed a man; who combines rarely combinable attributes and yet remains simple in dispositions! He is excitingly humane, extremely humble, extensively humorous and gorgeously generous.

I submit that if every superior officer behaves as Mr. Akogun, the study and practice of Industrial Relations and even Peace Studies in our institutions of higher learning would be incontrovertibly unnecessary.

A cursory perusal of  the birthday greetings on his Facebook page clearly reveals Mr. Akogun’s depth of character as well as the variegated plurality of his friendship base.Some of the commentaries are veritable testimonials to his simple, unassuming character and professional trajectory.For instance, one of those he had worked with in the course if his journalism career described him as “the most levelheaded news editor under whom the newsroom craziness was absent”.
And yet another described him as “the record breaker,onetime longest serving news editor who brought insanity in the newsroom to sanity”. He added that Mr Akogun was “always ready to solve your problems”,saying that he “had paid him private visit to his Unilorin Office several times” in appreciation of his mentorship.

 May I, therefore, use this privilege to thank the birthday boy, once again, for bringing me out of my “cocoons”. If not for his insistence and guidance I would have remained more anonymous. Mr Akogun insisted that notwithstanding my weaknesses, I would be more useful to the system as a Reporter than remaining in the  Marketing Department of the Directorate! Since then, my experience has been dotted by professional fulfillment, career progression and unanticipated visibility.
No one cheats God as He doesn’t cheat too. Hence, the emergence of this unassuming Media General as the first substantive Director of the Directorate of Corporate Affairs, University of Ilorin. Many observers within and outside the shores of the University see his elevation to the apogee of his career within the university system as a modicum of the deserved reward for his exemplary loyalty, glittering industry and uncommon professionalism. 

I must also say that Mr. Akogun is fortunate. He is blessed in many ways. He radiates happiness. He enjoys good and youthful look .He is also trusted with sound health,which makes him a workaholic. He is also leading his family into becoming an hub of journalism. This much was confirmed in  the words of the immediate past Speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly,Dr Ali Ahmad ,who opined that the name, Akogun, has become synonymous with journalism. This is because this great Journalist is a proud father to two award-winning famous journalists; one of whom was last year nominated for an international award. 

On behalf of my family and I, I beseech Allah to continue to grant Mr. Akogun sound health, greater wisdom and every other thing he needs to continue to look younger than his age; and to discharge his services far beyond the anticipation of the authorities of the University of Ilorin.

Imam is Deputy Editor, Unilorin Bulletin & National Publicity Secretary, Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union.

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