A former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN has commended Senior Journalist and human rights Activist, Mr Richard Akinnola on the release of his new book, “Flashback: A peep into my Adventure in Public Affairs Interventions”.
Olanipekun described the book as “very fascinating and written in elegant prose”.
Flashback, as written in its title is a combination of Akinnola’s experience in journalism and human rights advocacy in his more than 45 years as a writer, editor, and publisher. It comprises of stories of diverse personalities in the Nigerian public which includes the late Pa Alfred Rewane, the late Dr Akinola Aguda, the late police spokesman, Alozie Ogugbuaja, the late Prof Ayodele Akinjobi, the late Justices Abiodun Kessington, the late Justice Yahaya Jinadu, the late Dr Tunji Braithwaite, the late General Sani Abacha, the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi SAN, the late Kanmi Ishola-Osobu,and the late Chief MKO Abiola.
The book also contains stories on the living such as Vice President Yemi Osinbajo SAN, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN, Justice Augustine Adetula Alabi, Mrs Doyin Abiola, Mr Femi Falana SAN, and Chief Mike Ozekhome.
The book further contains some very interesting stories that has occured in Nigeria’s administration of justice system over the years, such as “the battle to save 12 kid robbers condemned to death”, the Lagos doctors strike, the Ita Oko Detention island, Supreme Court Justices Versus Concord newspapers, Rewane’s murder, and a host of other interesting stories.
Akinnola in the preface to the book said that the book encapsulates the challenges that civil society organisations, and human rights activists had in resisting the military dictatorships of Generals Ibrahim Babangida and Sani Abacha during the jackboot days of military dictatorship where he found himself as a key player in the struggles.
“It was a period in which there was no social media as we have it today. It became inevitable to use different methods-street protests, litigations, and newspaper advocacy as the avenues to ventilate one’s views”.
However, the book is not all about military dictatorship. “Of course, advocacy against certain government policies and actions is not limited to military dictatorships but also democratic governments. Hence, some of the materials highlighted in the book has to do with actions taken under democratic governments.
Akinnola believed that familiarity with government actors should be taken with a sense of responsibility in the interest of the country. “Being friends with those in government should not be a magna carta for unnecessary adulation, laced with obsequious sycophancy. It is dangerous for both parties. Let your conscience guide you, even when you are sometimes misunderstood”, he said.
Olanipekun in the comments praised Akinnola for the book.”Richo! Thanks for this beautiful production of yours – FLASHBACK , written in elegant prose. I completed reading it; page- to- page , and cover – to – cover at 6.30 pm on Saturday ,May 1,2021. It’s very fascinating; highly entertaining and informative; the narrations therein are very interesting, fascinating and sobering . Well done”.