•The Frontline Politician Reveals
Dr Doyin Okupe is one of the leading politicians in Nigeria. He is in fact a seasoned politician, having been involved in politics since 1992. He turned 70, a few weeks back and wrote a book to made his milestone birthday. He called the 316-page book, Double Jeopardy. Why that title? Why did he write the book? He explained all these in his introduction to the book.
“I am grateful to Almighty God for giving me the opportunity to write this book. It has always been on my mind to do this, but quite difficult to get round to taking the plunge for so many reasons.
However, when my 70th birthday was approaching, the idea resurfaced and became more intense because I had announced an intention to run for president in the year 2023. My initial focus was to write the book mainly on my own agenda for the country, Nigeria, in 2023 and beyond.
For this purpose, therefore, I consulted far and wide and put together a team of experts from various fields and specialities. After intense deliberations and six weeks of planning, I got propositions which I was meant to peruse and generally adopt as the framework of my intended publication. Somehow, the propositions though quite sound and also academic did not fully represent my own thoughts and I considered that, if I followed that ·line, it would not have been my book; it would have been the work of others adopted by me. For a more or less first major work by me, the idea did not sit well in my mind. I dilly-dallied for a few weeks and decided to dump the whole idea and take my time. Sometimes in the future, I will put together my thoughts and publish my own book, conceived and written by me in my own words. As my 70th birthday approached, in fact, just about 10 weeks to the day, I got a call from a younger friend and associate, Mr Femi Salako, who asked me how far I had gone with my book. I laughed and told him that the projects had long been cancelled. He screamed and told me that I couldn’t afford to do that and that on or around my 70th birthday celebrations, I must do a book; no matter how small or abridged. He said that I should tell my own story. He struck a chord inside of me, and I agreed. So, I called an associate of mine, Mr Sola Ojewusi,. I have known for several years and with whom I first broached the idea of an autobiography in the past. He has successfully done the same for several notable Nigerians as I am aware. We agreed It was a tall order but decided we would give it all we had to get It done. So we commenced work on this book on 10th January 2022 exactly seventy days to the proposed date of launching; 21st March 2022.
Because we adopted the narrative style and because Sola insisted there must be a reference to my early life, the scope of the book changed. It is not an exact autobiography. It is a simple story. myself, my. background, what I have done, some of my experiences in politics and government and my personal opinions and perspectives on national issues.
I decided on the title “Double Jeopardy” deliberately.
Double jeopardy as it is commonly used is a judicial language or lexicon, implying the trial of an accused person twice for the same offence. Concerning this book, I chose the title applying the literary meaning of the word. Hence, the understanding I want to pass to the reader is that I left a career in medicine to come into politics so that I could work with others to treat societal maladies in Nigeria and to operate as a “surgical politician” on a bigger and greater national theatre of operations. Twice (Double) I had arrived at the operating theatre and twice I have not been able to operate effectively (Jeopardy).
However, I thank the Almighty God for the opportunities I have had and I fervently pray that He will guide the affairs of this country and raise God-fearing, committed patriots with great vision and deep concern for the poor and needy – who are the overwhelming majority.
He dedicated the book to 2 gentlemen, late Chief Akin Ogunmade Davies, the first son of the legendary Chief H.O Davies, a foremost nationalist who stood tall amongst the legends who fought for our independence, and Chief Duro Onabule, erstwhile CPS to President Ibrahim Babangida. Chief Akin Ogunmade Davies was a loving and caring senior brother. My late father, Chief Mathew Adekoya Okupe, was a good friend of his own father. When he saw me as being very active in NPN politics, he was by some strange phenomena attracted to me. He was then the State Publicity Secretary of the P in Lagos State. He and his partners at ROD Publicity had carved a niche for themselves and had become very popular and famous in the elite circles in Lagos. I was also very awed by his reputation and ‘high flyer’ status in society. In no time I became his protege. He was my mentor and I followed him everywhere. We would go around the media houses as a daily routine, first to find out if some negative story was developing and secondly, if there was a need for us to throw in one or two quick interventions in form of press releases, comments, and opinions or interviews. He taught me how to write press releases in such a way that editors found them easy to just use them directly as it was written. I was introduced to the major players in the industry who took me as Akin Ogunmade’s boy.
One gentleman who further tutored and gave me a major platform to operate was Chief Duro Onabule, the then editor of Concord Newspapers. While Akin Davies taught me media and public relations, Duro Onabule grounded me in the very art of journalism. He went further to open up platforms to me that ought to have been reserved for big players. When Jakande spoke, my reactions were placed side by side with his statements. The exposure I enjoyed was unusual and uncommon and projected me higher and greater than I truly was. Chief Duro Onabule gave me a chance even when I was untrained and unqualified.
To these two gentlemen, I owe whatever I have become today in Media, Management and Exposure. It is interesting that though Chief Ogunmade Davies did not live long enough to climb to greater heights, Chief Duro Onabule became the Chief Press Secretary to President Babangida- a position God and Providence eventually placed me twice in, setting me in the footsteps of my mentor.