The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun state and others, have commended a former presidential aide, Dr Doyin Okupe, for keeping democratic vision alive by kicking against the oppression of the military era.
They extolled the medical expert on Monday in Lagos during the launching of his autobiography titled, ‘Double Jeopardy.’
Gbajabiamila said, “Dr Okupe has served our country as a doctor, a politician, and public servant. In the darkest years of military rule in Nigeria, he was amongst those who took risks to oppose the oppression that defined the lives of citizens at that time and keep the democratic vision alive.
“I am glad that Dr Okupe has resolved to document his life’s story in a book that will inform and educate and guide future generations. It is said that until the lions have their own historians, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter. As it is in the jungle, so it is in life.
“Until those who serve in politics, government and public service make it a duty to tell their own stories, the narrative of politics, government and public service will be determined by those who at best have been mere observers. And the public perception will be determined, often detrimentally, by these incomplete or incorrect narratives. This book may very well be Dr Okupe’s greatest public service, and I thank him for that.
“In matters of politics, Dr Okupe and I have very rarely found ourselves on the same side. Despite that, I have only admiration and respect for his hard work and the many profound lessons of his life. So on this occasion of his 70th birthday anniversary, I join family, friends, and well-wishers in wishing him a long life of good health and peace, joy and satisfaction, and gratitude for the abiding grace of God.”
The Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun who was represented by his Deputy, Noimot Salako-Oyedele, stated that, “Okupe is a gift of God to Ogun State and to Nigeria as a whole and we expect that what he wrote in his book would guide us through.”
Also in his comment, the former governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba stated that, “Okupe was part of those that formed the Alliance for Democracy before he eventually went to join the Peoples Democratic Party. When Abacha’s men invaded my house and wanted to kill me, Okupe was one of the doctors who treated my security aide.”
The leader of the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo also described former presidential aide as a committed man who contributed to Yorubaland.
“Okupe is a very committed man in any course he believes in. He is one of the stars in Yoruba land. While in the opposition, he is somebody you may not like but cannot ignore. I am very proud of people like him. Whenever any historian is writing the history of Nigeria, if Okupe’s part is not there, then the history is incomplete,” he noted.
President Muhammadu Buhari also in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, on Monday, acknowledged the worthy contributions of Okupe to the political development of the country.
At the advent of the current Fourth Nigerian Republic, Okupe was appointed Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to President Olusegun Obasanjo. In 2002, he was one of the governorship aspirants of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) primaries in Ogun State, and was a major contender along with Gbenga Daniel. In 2012, President Goodluck Jonathan appointed Okupe as his Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs
He was also a publicist at various times to Nigerian presidential aspirants of the PDP, including President Olusegun Obasanjo, President Goodluck Jonathan, Bukola Saraki and Vice President Atiku Abubakar.
In July 2017, he announced his decision to leave the PDP to join the Accord Party, but for accepting to be the Chairman of the Campaign Media Council of Bukola Saraki for the 2019 presidential primaries of the PDP, the Accord Party expelled him in September 2018.He subsequently returned to the PDP, and became a spokesman of the Presidential Campaign Organisation of Atiku Abubakar, the PDP candidate for president in the 2019 Nigerian presidential election.