ASABA, Nigeria – In a candid defense of Arise Television presenter Rufai Oseni, Chief Sunny Onuesoke, a prominent figure in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has come forward to champion the journalistic integrity and style of Oseni, amidst growing criticism.
Speaking in Asaba, Delta State, Onuesoke expressed his unwavering support for Oseni’s unique approach to journalism, which he believes plays a vital role in balancing the narrative against public officeholders.
Onuesoke, a former Delta State PDP governorship aspirant, articulated his thoughts on Friday, highlighting Oseni’s significant impact as a talk show host.
According to Onuesoke, Oseni’s confrontational style is not just for entertainment; it acts as a “UFC smackdown” to public figures, which is crucial for maintaining a balance in public discourse.
Addressing the critics directly, Onuesoke suggested that those who disparage Oseni are often driven by ego and mediocrity, fearing the reflection of their own inadequacies in his incisive questioning.
“Rufai unsettles them by exposing their inadequacies and hypocrisy with his questions. They fight back with insults,” Onuesoke remarked.
He further emphasized the need for Arise Television to invite guests who can match their intelligence with their temperament, pointing out that the most belligerent are often those who cannot handle Oseni’s probing questions.
Praising Oseni’s dedication to truth and insightful questioning, Onuesoke shared, “Am watching arise today is because of Rufai. He is truthful. He can dig out a question that can make some politician crazy. He said it the way it is without minding who you are. He is well composed and educated journalists, He speak almost the mind of people.”
Onuesoke also highlighted Oseni’s impressive credentials, noting his roles as a BBC Bristol Analyst on African Issues since 2014 and a featured guest speaker at renowned institutions like Cambridge University and the University of Sussex.
He lauded Oseni’s ability to engage diverse audiences, including his work with the Nigerian government and the government of Mauritius.
Furthermore, Onuesoke pointed out Oseni’s contributions to education, particularly his role in teaching English at the National Open University of Nigeria and mentoring over 5000 Nigerian students across various universities.
In his closing remarks, Onuesoke reinforced Oseni’s right, as a Nigerian, to question and critique the status quo.
He challenged the notion of Oseni being an outsider, asserting his legitimacy in raising issues that affect everyday Nigerians. “Is Rufai Oseni not a Nigerian? Did he not buy garri, diesel, and other commodities in the market? Why are people casting him? If he asks you a question and you did not like the question, you can skip it,” Onuesoke concluded.