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Setting History straight (Chief Wale Adenuga)

By Fredrick Femi Robinson
 Published December 28th, 2008

I was searching for some information on the internet when I came across an interview Mr. Sam Omatseye had with Chief Wale Adenuga. I am glad I read it today 24th of December 2008. I wish you will give me a chance to set the records straight before people tarnish the good name I have tried to build all these years. I am aware that Chief Wale Adenuga has just been honored by the Federal Government; an award I believe he deserves. However Chief Adenuga has an apology he has to make to me and many Nigerians.

Chief Wale Adenuga came to my office in Unilag requesting that he teamed up with me in publishing Bazukka the first indigenous comic magazine for school children. Do not forget that at that time I was the Village Headmaster and the whole nation saw me as a role model. He showed me some of the things he would like us to include in subsequent issues of Bazukka if we wanted it to sell. It was obvious he had just left the University because he wanted me to be involved in publishing the 'campus like' junk they use in attacking female students. I told him those him those who conceptualized the publication of Bazukka would not share his beliefs. The founding artists and writers were Mr. Joseph Afolabi, Mr. Kayode Idowu products of Yaba College and the Late Miss Ekefre product of Unilag and myself.

As far as I was concerned there was no competition between Bazukka and Ikebe Super. Bazukka was publishing educative materials which we believe parents should be able to buy for their children. There was no time I wrote a petition to the ministry about Ikebe Super. I know that at a national book publishing workshop organize in Unilag, I presented a paper in which I warned that lack of educative comic materials for our children would seriously affect our reading culture. I warned that immoral comic magazines which were easily available on the news stands should be discouraged. If we can ban selling of hemp on the streets why must we allow immoral comics to be sold to school children on the streets? What ever happened with the communiqué issued by the ministry after the workshop couldn’t have been my fault?

I am surprised that the names of the likes of Alhaji Babatunde Ajose, the father of Journalism and Otunba Segun Osoba a contemporary and mate whose journalistic ideologies I share could be referred to by Chief Wale Adenuga as one of those who saw the distribution of pornographic comic magazines as justified. That statement not only diminishes the person of the late Alhaji Babatunde Ajose and Otunba Segun Osoba, it is a disgrace to the profession itself.

I am convinced; the two respectable icons in journalism were never involved in the arrest saga Chief Adenuga is talking about. If they were, they would have asked to see the comic publications in question. I am sure Otunba Segun Osoba would have called me and talked to me if he was approached. He was not a Governor then ; and for your information Segun Osoba , Chief Sam Amuka, I and other top journalists were always meeting at parties then.

I have nothing against competition. It is on record that I have pioneered so many ideas from which people have made it and I do not jealous them. If Government and the people on Nigeria have not recognized it, perhaps they would when I am dead. For example I pioneered independent Television productions in Nigeria with NTA. To date Chief Wale Adenuga is one of the beneficiaries of that excercise. I saw Chief Wale Adenuga last, when he came to ask to join in publishing Bazukka. If he was told I did not like him, has he had the courage to ask me why?

Yes I still maintain that it was wrong to publish the kind of cartoon drawings Chief Wale Adenuga published in Ikebe Super in those days. I am angry he was instrumental for making them easily available to schools. I tried to tell him but he was avoiding me. Would Chief Adenuga know how many children those publications encouraged to be promiscuous? You will remember that those were the days when young girls boycotted classes in order to service some brothels. I am surprised he is happy to be associated with Ikebe Super. Will Chief Wale Adenuga permit a publisher of such comics to sell them in his wife’s school today? I wish he knows the families that became victims of his Ikebe Super publications. Families whose little once put into practice those things he published in his Ikebe Super and became addicts. Please you can confront Chief Wale Adenuga with these facts. Femi Robinson


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