- A 72-year-old man, Oloruntoyin Daniel Ayorinde, has revealed how he became late chief Obafemi Awolowo's private photographer
- Chief Awolowo was once described by late southeast leader Odumegwu Ojukwu as the best president Nigeria never had
- D'Toyin said he was employed by Awolowo in 1970 and he remained with him till he died in 1987
"Dedication, uprightness, quality job, honesty, youthfulness and patriotism were the qualities the late sage, Obafemi Awolowo, saw in me before he appointed me his private photographer."
These were the words of a 72-year-old man, Oloruntoyin Daniel Ayorinde, who is popularly called D'Toyin. He hails from Yewa Ifontedo, Ogun state.
In an interaction with Legit.ng's regional reporter in Oyo, Imran Khalid, at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) press centre, Ibadan, on Thursday, November 21, the septuagenarian recalled how he worked and committed to Awolowo's personal life and political activities till he died in 1987.
D'Toyin said he became Awolowo's personal photographer in July 1970 when the late sage was nursing the ambition to vie for presidency in the 1979 presidential elections.
According to him, there was no gainsaying the fact that he was the private photographer to late Awolowo till his death in 1987.
He said his employment and consideration as a private photographer to Awolowo in July 1970 was premised on his quality job, honesty, youthfulness and patriotism, among other virtues.
"I joined Awolowo at a prime stage when he was nursing the ambition of contesting for presidency in 1979 general elections. After he obtained the ticket under the platform of Action Group (AG), I was the only photographer that led others who monitored the campaign tour across the length and breadth of Nigeria while the elections were fast approaching.
"The only challenge I had while with Awolowo was when the sage was planning to re-contest in 1983, was that a photographer name withheld went behind to conspire against me before Awolowo but I later triumphed having maintained my uprightness, honesty, dedication and selflessness to serve the late sage," he said.
He said he followed the late sage on two consecutive times to take the shots of the activities that transpired in the political campaign tours which took place across the length and breadth of the country in both 1979 and 1983 general elections.
D'Toyin said that having committed to the service to Awolowo, he was considered by Nigerian Tribune as the newspaper's photographer after the demise of the late sage in 1987.
He said despite his current age at service, he was not disengaged, adding that the management of the newspaper did not give him any headache and it ensures his salary is paid promptly.
He said he had no regret working with Awolowo and his bequeathed legacy - Nigerian Tribune.
"The late sage is an icon whose attributes and qualities were superb and worthy of emulation," he added.
You can also read Legit.ng's report about a 57-year-old visually impaired man who became a first vice principal in Oyo.
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