One of my known weaknesses, or strengths (from whichever side you view it, due to what communicators call selective perception) is that I am easily attracted to intellect, hard work and loyalty to the cause of an organization. I also credit myself with an ability to sniff good materials in terms of intellect and sincerity of purpose within a relatively short period. Therefore, when OYESIKU ADEGBOYEGA ADELU joined the Osun State Governor’s Desk under my supervision as Chief Press Secretary in 1995, I predicted that he would make his mark. Oyesiku’s tutelage commenced at the defunct Sentinel Magazine, under a most intelligent and prolific writer, Dr. Stanley Macebuh(1942-2010) and Mallam Adamu Adamu, the current Minister of Education. He never stopped talking about Stanley Macebuh, his role model who made a lasting impression on him; as one of the best writers produced by Nigeria.
When Adelu showed up at the Government House, Osogbo for accreditation as Osun Radio’s Governor’s Office correspondent those very difficult years of military rule, I immediately debriefed Oyesiku, in my capacity as the Chief Press Secretary to the Military Administrator of Osun State; Navy Captain Anthony Udofia (retd); one of those humane bosses that one will never forget; who made media management and relations very easy. I saw in Adelu some attributes that usually attract me to junior colleagues and other professionals: Intellect, inherent capabilities, professional competence, sincerity of purpose, and ability to ‘ride on the storm’ those critical years of military rule when it was easy to end up in jail summarily.
And for these reasons, he became one of my favourites; alongside the other 32 State House correspondents who related with me as brothers and colleagues; and whom I regarded as my bosses. They could make things easy or tough for a press secretary. But my colleagues were exceptionally kind and considerate professionals. We; the correspondents and my humble self understood ourselves; and still understand ourselves very well till today. It was not by human effort alone, but purely by the grace of God for one who doesn’t believe in intrigues and stabbing people on the back. What do I want to become by deliberately attempting to destroy other people when GOD Almighty sees everything we do?
It didn’t take too long before ‘’Gangling’’ Oyesiku Adelu (apologies to great football commentator, Ernest Okonkwo) started proving his worth through reports filed in from the Military Administrator’s Press Desk. Oye was a delight to work with; as a workaholic myself, leading the team. He was not the hand out stuff, waiting for official press releases to file his stories. I pay special compliments to all other reporters too. Adelu was imaginative, resourceful, and prepared. Those were the days you got notified late at night that the Chief of General Staff required the presence of your principal in Lagos 10.00am, and you had to depart Osogbo 6.00am. Radio and television correspondents, particularly Oye Adelu got bundled into the entourage (even if they didn’t freshen up) as a result of emergency. Pf course, we had extremely good protocol teams. There were no mobile phones except those (090) numbers that were unaffordable.
Most times, you never know people up there notice your commitment and dedication. This ‘’baby lawyer’’ made a mark as a professional and hardworking journalist, such that my boss, good natured Navy Captain Anthony Udofia, (retd) ( I am lucky to have all of my bosses show love for me by God’s grace; and that can only be God) on his reassignment as the Commanding Officer, NNS Okemini in August 1996 told me to request Adelu to come along with him to Port Harcourt for an employment in one of the oil companies. That appointment would have fetched him at least fiftyfold of what he earned in the public service. Oyesiku, an Osogbo indigene, never made up his mind on time; and so lost that wonderful opportunity. But it is good to know that Oye lost an oil company job; but never lost the heart of my ‘sister’ pretty Wura, an Ijesha lady from my part of Osun State, who was then his fiancée.
She is today Mrs. Wura Adelu, who, over the years stood solidly by her husband, Oyesiku Adelu. It was a good bargain provoked by what economists refer to as ‘’opportunity cost.’’ Oye (Oyo Pe!) is a lively personality, whom I usually identify as an ‘’Oyo man’’ married to an Ijesha lady. Wura has done wonders. Three weeks ago, when I called Oyesiku on phone after being notified of his success at the Bar Finals, he was excited to inform me that he was in Dubai, at the site of the tallest hotel; a tourist attraction, at the instance of his wife, Wura, who gave him a treat on account of his success in the Bar Finals. I complimented Wura, his wife, who visits Dubai regularly, for taking her husband, an ‘’Oyo man’’ to Dubai to see the wonders of the last two decades. Oye, in turn, threw his usual banters about Ijesha people: ‘’You Osomaalos, I am helping you to take care of your daughter’’.
A PRODUCT OF RESILIENCE
Oyesiku holds a first degree in Communication and Language Arts, and a Master’s degree in the same field. He later proceeded to the Obafemi Awolowo University for a Bachelor of Laws degree, after which he moved to the Nigeria Law School where he successfully earned another qualification that qualifies him for enrolment as an Advocate and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. By being called to the Bar today, Adelu has satisfied the awarding authorities as ‘’a citizen of Nigeria; able to produce a qualifying certificate to the Benchers; and has satisfied the Benchers that he is of good character. ‘’The LEGAL PRACTITIONERS ACT re‐enact the Legal Practitioners Act 1962 as amended up to date. [1962 No. 33.1975 No. 15.1976 No. 29.1977 No. 40.1977 No. 67.1979; No. 9. 1979 No. 75. 1988 No. 46.] therefore, qualifies Oyesiku Adelu to practice in Nigeria’’ after being sworn in today.
He doesn’t have the gut to be a Gani Fawehinmi, an Alao Aka Bashorun, or Femi Falana. I see him in the mould of the moderates like Jiti Ogunyes, whom I know only through his contributions on Channels Television. I also utilize this opportunity to once again congratulate Oyesiku’s seniors: Bamidele Salam and Abimbola Babatunde, with whom I had close working relationships in my active service years. I am sure Bimbola will taunt you as your senior at the Bar. Your close friends, Kayode Oladeji, Femi Adefila, Abass Kobiowu, Niyi Kolawole, Bayo Akamo, Nosa Gaius, ”Principle” Kayode Akinsola, Tunde Omole; Aboneh Bogge Hammed Shittu; Hammed Bodunrin now DC Civil Defence Corps; Wale Folarin; Ram Committee Chair Wole Tokede; Gbenga Faturoti, Gbenga Fayemiwo; and the most senior of them all; Olu Akinboyewa, who were Adelu’s colleagues as State House correspondents.
They were all pleasant professionals who were kind to have supported me hugely; and we had mutual respect for ourselves which made things easy. They will congratulate you. Ever efficient Alhaji Saraki Oyetunji, the Press Crew driver must congratulate you. Rasaki almost became a journalist and was always kind to be watchful by interacting with correspondents and quietly informed me whenever any havoc was being planned against my bosses. My colleagues called such stories “ogulutu”. Gentleman Alhaji Mojeed aka KOSEPO who handled the Public Address Equipment vehicle must be happy for you; and your junior brother, Mojeed Mustapha, now a Chartered Accountant will also salute you.
I convey the warm wishes of Oga Anthony Udofia to you and your dear wife. Oga Theophilus Oladapo Bamigboye, another extremely humane boss that we would also not forget trusted you so much that he gave you and Kayode Oladeji the assignment of writing his memoirs. I am sure he will call you. I also feel sure that your ”egbons” and fellow in laws on the Government House team: Bamidele Akinola, Dapo Oyinlola, Akinlabi Olaniyi (DOP Odua) my able deputy, with our ambition now rendered hopeless by the huge spending in politics; Lekan Awoyemi, and your big brother Alhaji Fatai Akinbade will felicitate with you. Colonel Anthony Obi that you also served devotedly and now your senior at the Bar will wish you well. Frank Akinola too. My dear wife, Funmi sends her greetings, particularly to Wura.
Congratulations! OYE MA GHANDI. Your former bosses at Osun State Broadcasting Corporation must be proud of you. I remember our common boss, late Sam Bamidele who would shout ADELUWOYE at the top of his voice, while commending you; and my dear friend and common in law, Kayode Adedire, who was equally very fond of you as an achiever and efficient journalist. Go ahead and make your mark, for there is plenty of space at the top there for conscientious hands. Be prepared for a lot of PRO BONO jobs.
DON”T JOIN IN INTRIGUES and DON’T STAB PEOPLE ON THE BACK. PUT GOD FIRST IN ALL YOU DO AND.DON’T DEPART FROM THE PATH OF GOD. HE makes and unmakes. That is my golden admonition.
Glory be to God.