Publisher of Ovation International, Ayobamidele Abayomi Ojútelégàn Àjàní Momodu, popularly known as Dele Momodu, has been the toast of the town as he clocked 60 today, May 16, 2020.
Prominent personalities from across the world, especially from Nigeria, have been celebrating the front line journalist, pro-democracy activist, politician and business man who blazed the trail in journalism with his high society glossy international publication, Ovation International.
Momudu, an alumnus of the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, besides his trend setting magazine, writes a remarkably incisive column in Thisday Newspaper (PENDULUM).
Among the many dignitaries who have showered encomiums on the businessman and motivational speaker are President Muhammadu Buhari, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
President Buhari, in his message, congratulated Momodu on hitting the milestone in good health and sound mind, wishing him greater contributions to the further emancipation of Nigeria in the years and decades to come.
President Buhari, in his message by Femi Adesina, his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) rejoices with the family, friends and professional colleagues of Momudu, noting that the pace-setter has left his footprints indelibly in the annals of journalism in the country.
He also wishes Momodu greater profundity of thoughts as he engages with readers of his weekly column, PENdulum.
Asiwaju Tinubu, APC leader, said, in a statement by his media office, that ‘‘Bashorun Dele Momodu, ace journalist, prolific writer and author, media entrepreneur, politician and socialite, has earned his innumerable stripes. I congratulate and rejoice with him on attaining 60, Saturday, May 16, 2020.
Momodu has done remarkably well for the journalism profession and for his country. He fought relentlessly for the entrenchment of democracy in Nigeria and for the promotion of good governance and social justice.
While traversing the media landscape and forging what was to become an exciting and illustrious career, culminating in the founding of the Ovation Media Group, Momodu was also actively involved in pro-democracy activities.
For that, he was forced on exile by the late Abacha military junta, like yours sincerely, during which time both of us, along with some other progressives, continued the struggle for the revalidation of the annulled June 12 election.
Momodu is not only a pro-democracy activist but also a political actor and indeed at one time a presidential candidate.
Also remarkable is his regular, incisive and helpful interventions in social and governance issues.
I salute his courage, tenacity, resilience, sagacity and commitment to worthy causes and loyalty to friendship.
On this milestone age, I join the family, friends and associates of our highly-admired Bob Dee in wishing him a most fulfilling birthday even at this moment that demands of all of us preventive and physical distancing measures in the wake of the ravaging coronavirus pandemic.
May God Almighty grant Momodu many more years, robust health and strength to continue to advance the cause of journalism, democracy and good governance as he has been doing over the years.’’
Lagos State Governor, Sanwo-Olu, in his own message, congratulated Chief Momodu on his 60th birthday, describing the occasion as momentous for a man who has dedicated his life to the celebration of Africans through his profession.
In a statement on Saturday and signed on his behalf by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, Sanwo-Olu said Bashorun Momodu’s milestone is worthy of celebration considering the numerous achievements he has to his credit.
He said: ‘‘you have, through your chosen profession, shown leadership, doggedness, confidence and dedication to every course you believe in.
‘‘As a believer in egalitarian societies, which can only be guaranteed by democracy and the Rule of Law, you pitched tent with the late business mogul and politician, Chief MKO Abiola as campaign manager in the run up to the botched June 12, 1993 presidential elections. You held similar position in the campaign of Chief Olu Falae, the Presidential candidate of the Alliance for Democracy-All People’s Party joint ticket in 1999 elections.’’
‘‘I also note with admiration your passion, which lies not only in your profession of pen pushing but more in a just society. You have displayed the enthusiasm for a better Nigeria in more practical ways. Your weekly column in Thisday newspaper, the pendulum, continuously illuminates your thoughts and suggestions on how we can best move the nation forward. Your decision to contest for the presidency under the National Conscience Party (NCP) 2011 is exemplary.
“As a journalist, you honed your skills early in life, rising to the editorial position as news editor of the Weekend Concord, a widely read national newspaper in 1989. You were also acclaimed to be the highest paid editor in Nigeria when you edited the then Classique magazine.”
Sanwo-Olu further described Momodu as a media entrepreneur who has dedicated his enterprise to the promotion of the beautiful side of the African continent.
‘‘There is no doubt that your voyage into the world of media enterprise, which you embarked on in 1996 to date has been for the promotion of the beauty, glitz and glamour of Africa and Africans both at home and in the diaspora. Your Ovation magazine, has achieved that in no small measure, projecting the beauty of our dear continent.
‘‘You have also shown to the younger generation that age is not a barrier as you are one of the early adopters of digital journalism.’’
‘‘As you celebrate 60th birthday, I pray that God will increase you in wisdom and good health as you continue the conversation for the Nigeria of your dream. Happy birthday,’’ he said.