…A veteran journalist, Tope Adaramola writes a painful tribute to the legacy of founder of popular newspaper stand, Alhaji Arowora, a foremost vendor,recalling his(late Arowora), roles of consistent newspaper vendoring of over 40 years in Abeokuta, the town where journalism practice started.
Penpushing brings to you brief but touching details of the piece
It was indeed a sad day seeing the famous Arowora newspaper stand conspicuously located at the Oke-Ilewo Interchange being destroyed for the new owner of the land, believed to have been given possession during the Chief Olusegun Obasanjo monetisation policy for federal public servants.
While the owner must have been rejoicing for taking possession of the land, for me and several others who benefitted from the “knowledge centre” owned by late Alhaji Musiliu Arowora, it was a sad moment.
During his lifetime, Alhaji Arowora was, aside from being a renowned newspaper vendor who diligently served no fewer than 10 Governors and notable public servants the state had produced, was also a humanist. Many thronged his newspaper rendezvous to catch news of events breaking out in the country and the world, sometimes without money to buy those newspapers and periodicals.
He was never touchy towards free readers and had on the tips of his fingers historical antecedents of the State, starting from creation in 1976 till date. He would always regale us with stories of the most difficult moments in the State’s evolution process and different roles played by different dramatis personages per time.
His diligence, good nature and entrepreneurial acumen earned him several awards from different quarters, including government institutions and the Nigeria Union of Journalists during his lifetime. It is a pity that all these affinities could not earn his business a permanent place even after his death, speaking to our country’s poor reward system.
In ideal climes, the Ogun State Government, other groups and individuals that Arowora served with utmost devotion should have risen to preserve his legacy of service, even if with an alternative plot of land in a befitting location.
To me, Arowora deserves to be venerated in death as one of those who strongly contributed to the knowledge power of Ogun indigenes, attribute that is often being flaunted among other citizens of the country. Indeed, Arowora was an unsung hero whose memory must not be allowed to evanescent so soon and in such a despicable manner. How soon we forget history here!
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