EDDY AINA’s IDEAS EDIFY THE MEDIA: Garlands From Coded Media to a Gallant Media Buff - By ‘Tunji Ajayi

EDDY AINA’s IDEAS EDIFY THE MEDIA: Garlands From Coded Media to a Gallant Media Buff By ‘Tunji Ajayi

Like the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, the name, Eddy Aina ricochets far and deep around the journalism world! But a face to face contact with Eddy reveals a dizzying gulf of difference between his genial, unassuming look and his towering intellectual height. An imperceptive mind may be tempted to take a mere cursory glance at a great man of intellect, who cuts the deceptive image of a timid cat treading slowly and steadily preying on its quarry. Eddy Aina’s introverted but genial and affable personality immediately reminds one of Sunny Ade’s epic 1973 album entitled “Ariya Odun Kewa” (10th Anniversary). After reeling out his deep philosophical tirades in a 22-proverbs-laden album, the musical warlord concluded: “Yiyo Ekun bii t’ojo ko. Áwa ò kèrè, sùúrù la ní.” The music impresario added a puncher: “Ológbò tó sùn bí òle, ohun tó máa je ló n wá . . . . Àgbá òfìfo ni dun woro-woro.” Indeed, the cautious tread of a Leopard is not borne out of fear. Sunny says he wasn’t a push over, but was just being patient, adding that a Cat that lies down calmly is just seeking what to devour . . . Then the puncher: “It is the empty barrel that makes the loudest noise. Any drum filled with water hardly sounds loud when hit.” This is a truism that depicts our debonair Eddy Aina. When Eddy speaks, those who cherish and seek knowledge listen! Eddy Aina is a great blessing to our journalism world. When you are watching or listening to Eddy Aina, you are in direct contact with a Muse of diverse knowledge. A mobile library. A trove of divine wisdom! Eddy symbolizes distinction. Yes! A great lover of excellence who cuts the image of an introvert that treasures ascetic private life. When Eddy speaks, his words are eminently laden in inviolable truth which doesn’t change colour and is often so difficult to controvert. The avuncular veteran journalist marshals his arguments while almost every sentence he utters is decorated with corroborative evidences. Eddy reels out verifiable data off hand with computerized precision! Even after putting up his excellent best in his chosen journalism profession for over four decades and honorably retired few years back, having made tremendous impact in both print and broadcast media with unblemished record of distinctions, his journalism constituency still clings on him like mistletoe does to his cherished companionship. Eddy’s multifarious talents are far too precious to the media world than being allowed to rot in the often recluse life of retirement which the Nigerian decrepit system has ignobly promoted. The industry would not let him go! A suave and well polished cerebral person, Eddy, a rigid hard-nosed disciplinarian was found excellently worthy of serving the nation as director of the National Broadcasting Commission, a dreaded monitoring parastatal often loathed by non-conformist media stations for its stiff penalties against breach of media ethical codes. Eddy, an unrepentant moralist and staunch lover of puritanical discipline brought sanity to the NBC. Under Eddy’s headship, the respect for norms and ethical behavior soared and was held in high esteem, thus confirming the veracity of the averment that it is great people that often lend vitality to an institution. Not the monetary investment. Nigeria has massive wealth to the envy of the rest of the world such that under the military rulership of General Yakubu Gowon in the 70s, “money was not Nigeria’s problem but how best to spend it.” By the year 2020 the hitherto wealthy nation had literally been run aground to become a slave to China, and never considered it infradignitatem begging China to help build her roads and bridges. Nigeria has no known technology of its own to flaunt. Her brilliant youths are unemployed, and have become idle, rotting away as they grow in age. Her universities are in ruins while her great scholars are held in derision by the ruling class. Her medical personnel are running away to foreign lands. Yet, the leadership engages in macabre dance to its own “Jubilante Deo” musical tunes. The pigheaded leadership has become so insolently impervious, holding in derision truth and wisdom. Oh God! I guess I have digressed here. But do I exaggerate? Proverb 22:7 provides an answer: “The rich is the one that rules over those of little means, and the borrower is servant to the man doing the lending.” (Quod Errat Demonstrandum) No nation ever moves forward with un-exemplary leadership to manage her resources. Nigeria now groans in penury to the chagrin of the world. Yes. A nation can live on the Ocean and yet be washing her hands with spittle. And that perhaps explains why the reggae music maestro hollered in his Rat Race: “In the abundance of water, a fool is thirsty.” For a nation like ours where crass indiscipline has almost been institutionalized, we need many leaders in Eddy Aina’s mold to salvage our country by providing exemplary leadership. This is because good and exemplary leadership presupposes effective followership. It is never the other way round.

An affable teetotaler who revels in ascetic and recluse lifestyles, Eddy Aina evidently evinces scholasticism perhaps due to his divinely gifted intelligence quotient or being an avid reader. He must have been a beneficiary of that English philosopher Francis Bacon’s homily who advised against being apathetic towards reading when he said in pungent but laconic words: “Reading maketh a full man”. Eddy is full and fulfilled with wisdom; always at ease with aphorisms and witty quotes with which he garnishes his incontrovertible arguments and position on contemporary issues and during intellectual debates. Like the Scottish historian and writer Thomas Carlyle once boasted: “My books are friends that never fail me.” Eddy Aina, an avid and voracious reader’s books of wisdom never fail him. The caveat here is that you may only listen to Eddy on radio or television if your close appointment is not permanently fixed! Otherwise, you will be held glued to your seat and fail to honour your scheduled appointment. Eddy radiates knowledge, excellence and distinction! His robust capacity for hard work eloquently manifested in his heydays at the Nigerian Television Authority, Abeokuta after which he also showed his stern stuff and astute managerial skill at the reputable Ogun State Broadcasting Corporation (OGBC) where many of the renowned ace broadcasters in Nigeria cut their teeth before moving out to develop other stations across the nation. He was the Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Ogun State Chapter, during which tenure his energetic, suave and well-polished colleague, Barrister Demola Badejo served as the Secretary; and the duo helped to give the renowned Iwe-Iroyin House a crushingly befitting upliftment from the doldrums. One can readily imagine the combination of the duo of a cerebral Eddy Aina and the effervescent, quick witted Demola Badejo heading a union! The virility must compulsorily and evidently be astounding. Eddy edifies the media industry by lending vitality to it since the past four decades of excellent services. The more our Eddy Aina grows older, the more he becomes more ubiquitous and relevant to the nation. Up till today Eddy Aina, also a member of the editorial board of the reputable Penpushing Media, is being sought either to help found one radio station or serve as a resource person in many fora. An amazing workaholic with astounding leonine vigor; hardly any day ever passes without the debonair Eddy in his soothing voice being heard on the radio discussing Nigerian contemporary issues; or his genial face with pleasant mien being found epitomizing ebullience while discussing topical issues on the television with Cicero-like sweeping eloquence, elocution and sizzling erudition. Without letup, the unassuming Eddy Aina has consistently been a power bank and a trove of workable ideas and solutions to many of the upcoming broadcasting stations, most especially in Ogun State.

Eddy Aina is presently the General Manager of one of the foremost radio stations in Abeokuta, SWEET 107.1Fm. While being fӗted on November 5, 2022 at the 10th Anniversary of Coded Media and the First Eddy Aina Annual Dialogue instituted in his honour by Coded Media, owners of the celebrated first wireless radio station in Nigeria, Oodua 99.9Fm, the affable man was lavishly honoured with the presence of many distinguished media buffs, journalism pundits, creative writers, academic scholars and renowned industrialists. The Chairman of the day was His Royal Highness, Oba (Professor) Lanlege. One key point in the flurry of goodwill messages was the apt description of the colourful event as a celebration of integrity, resourcefulness and humility. Guests and colleagues profusely showered well deserved accolades on the honoree. Professor Jendele Hungbo gave a rousing keynote address. Hungbo, also a veteran journalist and now a professor and erudite scholar of repute gave an evocative lecture on a topic entitled; SOCIAL MEDIA INCURSION INTO GLOBAL COMMUNICATION SPACE IS OVERBEARING: Is the Demise of Radio & Television Imminent?” The professor spoke eloquently about the amorphous roles of the social media as having helped to improve the functions of the traditional media and at the same time caused many problems for it. This is evidently true in that the basic functions of the media to inform, educate and entertain have become easier with the far more ubiquitous and pervasive influence and nature of the social media, which has made our world much more a single global village perhaps than the renowned communication scholar Marshall McLuan ever thought of. It is obvious that a message seeking to inform an audience of several thousands could be transmitted through an android phone by anyone, and reach the target audience within a split second, thousands of kilometers away from the news encoder. This is also without the stereotyped rigmarole and observance of procedural rules and principles of news gathering, editing and “gate keeping.” But, on the other hand, this has brought the emergence of charlatans and self-styled “emergency journalists” brandishing fake news being churned out profusely, which is a menace and albatross to national growth and invitation to anarchy and disaster. The social media sacrifices “accuracy” for “promptness” and “immediacy”, which are some of the determinants of newsworthiness. Professor Hungbo opined that both the contemporary social media and the traditional radio and television could co-exist and benefit the industry if there were proper regulations to monitor excesses. In “RADIO & TV: Time to Allow for Private Ownership” (see Daily Sketch, February 20, 1991), latching on the communication scholar E.B. White’s assertion to corroborate the libertarian philosophy of the press, I wrote to strongly support the private ownership drive. According to White who wrote interalia: “The press in our free country is reliable and useful not because of its good character, but because of its great diversity. As long as there are many owners, each pursuing his own brands of truth, we the people have the opportunity to arrive at the truth and dwell in the light.” To continue to be more relevant and stem the evil effect of social media incursion to enable the audience “dwell in the light” the contemporary media should reach out to perform its father-figure role by not condescending to being a tag-along to the frivolous social media, copying news from her source verbatim and relaying same without verifying the source and accuracy of such news. The entertainment-centric social media’s uncensored, vapid and insipid musical and audio-visual contents should not be re-transmitted with impunity by the traditional media to curb the alarming rate of social vices in the society. Thanks to the cerebral and quick-witted effervescent Victor Eniola Mark, for his enchanting homily that seems like exemplification of “internal-economies of scale concept” on how the media industries in our modern day could maximize and share resources to reduce costs. His Coded Media’s noble and ingenious efforts are worthy of shimmering accolades. Barrister Demola Badejo had a nostalgic feeling of their good old days while managing the affairs of the Ogun State Chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalists. Badejo attested to Mr. Eddy Aina’s penchant for excellence and unpretentious love for the development of the industry to which he has given his best for over four decades. Dele Ayodo, a veteran and unrepentantly bold and say-it-as-it-is journalist and media consultant spoke eloquently about the disciplinarian stance of the honoree which, according to him had tremendously helped many of the upcoming journalists with the attendant improved performance; thus contributing to the growth of the media industry in Nigeria. Media practitioners, radio and television analysts too numerous to mention attended the event. They included the former Manager of NTA, Osogbo, Mrs. Efe Soriyan; Chief (Mrs) Ibiyemi Ajadi; Mr. Ayo Arowojolu; National President of the Freelance and Independent Broadcasters Association of Nigeria (FIBAN) Comrade Desmond Nwachukwu; Dr. Segun Aiyedun Isaiah; Mr. Ola Animasaun; Dare Adedotun, representatives of the National Broadcasting Service and a host of others. The colorful event which was a beehive of intriguing activities was also festooned by “The Panel Session” beautifully anchored by Professor Helen Bodunde, and shed further light on the keynote address in dialogue format. What a beautiful event to behold for its glitz and glamour, turning the mood in the posh Conference Hotels, Abeokuta, the venue of the memorable event ecstatic and convivial.

Congratulations to the honoree, Mr. Eddy Aina. Kudos to Coded Media @ 10. May Oodua 99.9fm continue to thrive and effectively serve the purpose for which it was established. Like it is said in Latin maxim: “Honor Virtutis Praemium.” Eddy Aina, no doubt is deserving of shimmering honour for exemplary conducts and sterling traits, because “Honour is the reward of virtues”. We send our hearty Congratulations to a man of excellence and distinction from Henrisol Entertainments Ltd./Laolu Ogunniyi LOTO Productions and LC-Studio Communications. ………………………………………………………………………….. *Tunji Ajayi, a creative writer, author and documentary producer writes from Lagos, Nigeria. (+2348162124412; +2348033203115) 1.Please Like, Comment, Share, and Subscribe to Henrisol Entertainments Ltd. YouTube Channel https://youtu.be/-XaKx3HyBb0 2.Buy this new Book via Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/KING-SUNNY-ADE.../dp/B09FSCJX78

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Tunji Ajayi - a creative writer, author and biographer writes from Lagos, Nigeria

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