Ayo Akanbi: An Enviable Veteran Broadcast Journalist with untainted integrity
By Saheed Abdullahi
A society devoid righteous rare gem will definitely be in disarray. These righteous people consciously or unconsciousness are bond to be good examples to those behind them and indeed posterity. Among the righteous media elegant elephant God bestowed on Kwara State and Nigeria is a renowned retired veteran broadcast journalist, Alhaji Abdulrazaq Ayobami Akanbi
The Oke-Ode born in Ifelodun Local Government Area of the State is not just a pen pusher of untainted integrity but a father for all in the pen confraternity and home front. His unique feature is that one’s problem is always his problem and invest his efforts towards solving emerging challenges to a logical solution. Similarly, one happiness is always his happiness. In fact, he personalizes the happiness of anyone under him beyond imagination. This is rare in the contemporary world
Alhaji Abdulrazaq Ayobami Akanbi is an unblemished veteran broadcast journalist with unbeatable enviable experience. He maintained decorum, simplicity and humility from his the first day in the Kwara State civil service to the last day of his retirement
My first contact with him was through his popular breakfast show tagged “Good Morning Kwara” during his sojourn at Kwara State Television Authority (Kwara TV) alongside Abdulrazaq Abayomi Adeniji, current Kwara NUJ Vice Chairman, Hajia Binta Abubakar-Mora of Radio Nigeria Harmony FM Idofian and Hajia Hameedah Yusuf of Kwara State University, Malete as young boy with chronic fascination to the media. I watched him closely with the way he presented the Programme. When I eventually met him, he never discarded or intimidated anyone but welcomed people that came his way including my humble self
I became very close to him when he decided to take Radio Kwara as his second home. He was always in Radio Kwara where we were able to tap from his wealth of experience. Ayobami Akanbi’s quality presentation made him became a household name in Kwara State Media Arena through his popular programme, “The Platform”. Brother Ayo as his fondly called as a pioneer anchor of the programme garnished every episode of “The Platform” with thought provoking “Words on Marble” from local and international thinkers
The platform, birthed by Ayobami Akanbi, then was co-anchored by our baba in the profession, our own Alhaji Muhammad Tunde Akanbi Sai Kayi, our mother and painstaking News Editor, Hajia Zulfa Olajumoke Adeyemi, Former Chief Press Secretary to the then Deputy Governor, Most Senior Apostle Bunmi Adedoyin,Jemila Olanrewaju and Abdul-Hameed Funsho Alaiye. The Programme enjoyed peak level of listenership as a result of salient issues being discussed on the programme with experts and government officials as guests.
Feedbacks and phone calls from listeners in Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria and abroad was immense as Mr Ayo Akanbi planted and watered a seed that continues to germinate till this moment. Mr Akanbi’s intelligence and polished English could not be underrated as I watched him any time he spoke then to learn one or two things. It was from him I discovered that if one wants to be a vibrant journalist, that individual must be a good reader.
Brother Ayo is tremendously bookish. His penchant for knowledge makes him a voracious reader. He reads a lot! In Radio Kwara then, it was rare to see Mr Akanbi’s empty-handed without books or a book. He sat at one corner in the newsroom reading. There was a time I saw him with a highly voluminous book in his hand, Wallahi Brother Ayo consumed this book. I can authoritatively say that I learnt reading culture from. If you cannot be a good reader, definitely you cannot be a good writer. Brother Ayo writes very well
His promotion and appointment as Deputy Chief Press Secretary to former Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed in 2012 by the Ministry of Information left him with no choice that to partway with “The Platform”. Brother Ayo served alongside Alhaji Abdulwahab Oba who was the then Chief Press Secretary. As a non materialistic and non desperate civil servant with urge for positions
I am aware Brother Ayo had vehemently rejected the idea of serving as DCPS but was coerced at some point. In 2016, Alhaji AbdulRazaq Ayobami Akanbi was transferred from Government House to Kwara State House of Assembly as Director, Information. Throughout his stay in KWHA, he was never found wanting until he was promoted in July 2020 as Director of Information Services in the Ministry of Communications. At least, some of us as members of Kwara State House Assembly Press Corps can attest to this
Brother Ayo Akanbi last posting as Director, Information Services, Kwara Ministry of Communications was eventful and fulfilling. All commissioners, permanent secretaries, press secretaries and the entire staff of the ministry he worked with had pleasurable moment.
The huge crowd that attended his retirement send-forth and goodwill messages are manifestations of his positive behaviour both to the young and old. He is humble to a fault. He complains not on any situation. Brother Ayo is one of our mentors that spoonfed us in this journalistic profession. It was through him and other ogas we cut our teeths in this journalism. As he bowed out out after attaining retirement age of 60 years, I wish him Happy Birthday, long life and prosperity in sound health and wealth in his future endeavour.
Saheed Abdullahi is of Radio Kwara, Ilorin