OPINION: Radio Kwara and her many seasonal names. By Aliyu Olatunji Ajanaku
I don't know how very partisan Radio Kwara was during Adamu Attah but of course the station must have gone through very divided loyalty during the Saalaake (cut it with axe) of Adamu Attah/Akanbi Oniyangi with backing from palace and Federal might in the red corner Vs Saraki (lone fighter) in the blue corner. Somehow I suspected the station tilted to Saraki in a way because in 1983, when Chief C O Adebayo was declared as winner, Radio Kwara relayed it. There was no nickname for the station, so to say. What's more, there was no competition.
During Shaaba, nothing much affected the station. Opposition was weak. They had no time for nicknaming Radio Kwara. Saraki was fully in charge.
Now came Gov Mohammed Lawal. As at this time, Gov Lawal was popular and even Baba Saraki declared him a "good boy". Then the intrigues began. Party Chairman of blessed memory and some leaders who were finding Lawal impenetrable began their scheming. Before you could say Jack Robinson, ANPP in Kwara became fictionalised. Upon realizing the power of Radio, Gov Lawal seized control of the station, fired Modibo in KWTV and merged the two stations under the leadership of seasoned broadcaster, Hajjia Mairo Mustapha. At that point Radio Kwara got a nickname, "Ile Ise Awon Mero". (Mairo's workplace). Guess who gave the nickname? Gov Lawal himself.
By the time Gov Saraki took over, several heads rolled. Nakeeb of Madrasat Mohammed, Dr Aliagan and Dr Olohunoyin were denied airtime on Radio Kwara, AbdulFattah Dan Kazeem was whisked out of the place and transferred to an obscure desk in Ministry of Information and others victims. Then for 16 straight years, Radio Kwara acquired a new nickname - "Radio Agbaji". That era will terminate on May 29th, 2019, In sha Allah. While the media terror lasted, the fortune of the state owned radio station began to dwindle as competition came with vigour. Harmony FM came in first, followed by Royal FM around 2011, then Unilorin Radio and many others later, particularly the super popular Sobi FM. Even with so-called world class equipment that Dr Akorede claimed to have bought for Radio Kwara and KWTV, still Radio Agbaji could not raise her head. Over time, many of the broadcasters there became partisan, leaning towards Sarakism. The station aired the jingle, "Bukola Saraki Aso Wa Ni", many more times than any other stations at a time that you would want to believe that most likely the airtime was being given out freely. Who pays the Piper dictates the tune, of course. The misfortune that affected Radio Kwara did not spare The Herald Newspapers as well as the Kwara TV.
On May 29th, 2019, alliances will change again. The songs will change. The next four years, will definitely witness a 180 degrees turn. Will the station become "Radio Idi Igba"? If it does become, will it affect it's fortune? Only time will tell.
But honestly, change is good sha.