OSLAD THAT I KNOW
A Time Like This!
‘’The Men, a time like this demands,
Strong Men, Great Minds,
Great Hearts, True Faiths and Ready Hands,
Men whom the lust of office can?not buy,
Men who possess opinion and a will.
Men who have honour,
Men who will not lie,
Men who can stand before a demagogue
And damn his treacherous flatteries without winking,
Tall men, sun crowned, who live above the fog in public and private thinking’’
– Joseph Gilbert
When Joseph Gilbert composed the lines above, it is obvious that he neither had Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Osogbo branch nor ‘Comrade’ Abdurhaman Okunade a.k.a Oslad in mind. But there is no gain saying to say that ‘A time like this …’’ that the poet was talking about is now for us at NBA, Osogbo branch and the description of the ‘’Men’’ in the poem perfectly fits own our Oslad. I will just cite three empirical instances to support my assertion.
My path and that of Oslad crossed about a decade plus 2 years ago, precisely in the year 2007 during my bid for the President of Osogbo National Students Union, (ONSU). Prior to that time, we were not on the same page. I belonged to the power brokers block which had our outgoing Chairman, Barr. Dele Ajibade as a strong leader, Oslad was of the anti-establishment block. There was this division in the Union then: University vs Polytechnic. The polytechnic students usually have upper hand in deciding who becomes what in the Union because of their numbers. Although at that time, I was an HND student at the Department of Mass Communication, Ospoly and equally at the Department of Philosophy, OAU simultaneously but I chose to contest on the platform of the University.
But there was a hurdle to cross. Oslad was the OAU ONSU chapter president and without his endorsement there was no way my presidential ticket could fly at least from OAU. I made a rapprochement and to my utter chagrin he bought my argument. As the Chapter president he invested his time, intellectual wherewithal and energy in my campaign. On the day of the election, we lost to a relatively unknown candidate who was the candidate of the power brokers in the Union. By our own analysis, we arrived at the conclusion that the election was rigged and Oslad led a formidable campaign to annul the election to no avail.
As part of the option B of the campaign team, 3 of us converged at aisle of OAU amphitheater and an idea was moved to come up with parallel exco for the union, with my humble self as president. Immediately the idea was raised by a member of the team who is now a Medical Doctor, Oslad shot it down. He said he would not be part of the move to divide ONSU. He added that though we had all it took to outshine the person declared as the President by the electoral committee but if we went ahead with the idea, history will not be kind to us. His position was that the ambition of any one of us is not worth destabilizing our Union. He admonished that if it was the wish of Almighty Allah for me to lead ONSU, I will definitely become ONSU President. True to his prediction, I was elected unopposed the following year as ONSU President. It was to the credit of Oslad that the ONSU remains one till today. If our man, Oslad is elected as the Chair of NBA, Osogbo branch, given his antecedent, he will be a unifying factor.
Let me fast forward my story a bit. Another reason why Oslad deserves our votes as the NBA Chairman is his lack of ability to cut corners. He always follows the rules without minding whose ox is gored. Another instance to buttress this happened shortly after I was called to the bar. I made a request to him to be added to NBA Osogbo WhatsApp group. My friend politely turned down my request, his reason was that since I have not registered with the branch and paid all the necessary dues, I was not qualified to be on that WhatsApp group. He said if he should add me, he would be breaking the rules. Two months after that, he saw evidence of my registration and he promptly added me. This shows that if our man is elected as NBA chairman, he will pilot the affairs of the branch in line with the rules in the book.
I do not want to bore you with a lengthy article but let me jump to the last instance among many other instances and perquisite qualifications why Oslad should be voted on Saturday, June 29th as our next NBA Chairman. In the 1st quarter of this year, a very bosomz friend of Oslad put a call to him about his inability to make it to the meeting early and sought assistance of Oslad to assist him in writing the attendance at the meeting. This is a practice that virtually almost all of us have done in the past either in the school or office. But our man poignantly refused. He said the meeting attendance is meant for those who are physically present at the meeting. Doing it by proxy, according to him, is a corruption of sort and he would not want to be engaged in it.
Although this principle of being an advocate of doing what is right has earned him not a few enemies but this type of person is what our branch needs now. He may be young age-wise but believe me what it has pleased Allah to endow him in terms of talent, administrative knowledge, wisdom and native intelligence is sufficient enough to pilot the affairs of our bar to the sore of success.
Abdurrahmon Okunade Oslad is ‘a man’ a time like this demands to take our branch to the promise land. With your support and votes on Saturday, together we shall take NBA OSOGBO BRANCH to a greater height!