15. Ayo Oladejo, ‘Gbenga Sesan & Ugo Nwosu

Since the early days I roamed in the campus of University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, I had seen myself leading the students union someday. Sometimes we dream, it never happens. I was so close. I lost to Raji Mustapha by 21 votes.

Walking from the girls’ hostel right up to the students’ building, I asked a neighbour of ours, “Aunty” Folasade Ajala,

“What exactly does it take to be a SUG President?”

“You want to become a politician” she laughed.

Actually, I became a politician within the campus. A member of the student parliament  in 200 Level & 300 Level, the Engineering Students’ President in 300 Level.

After I completed this term, the next place to take on was the SUG President. A story that deserves its long form. But losing that election and coming from internship at Phillips, I just wanted to do more. I wanted to validate that premise that one does not need to be in SUG to make a difference.

Sitting on some cement blocks, I thought about floating a company. I will call Vision Plus Network. My housemates –  Odunayo Adebambo, Niyi, Deji Olukokun, Dipo and others were so in. This is how we begun. We would have an ICT event in UNAAAB. The first ever.

“But I needed speakers”

“I need people who I can talk about ICT?”

I had listened to Gbenga Sesan at an ICT Event organized Zenith Bank circa 2003. We were on ASUU strike. One of those strikes, ASUU decides to keep us at home for more than four months. Gbenga spoke so well, sounded so confident that ICT was the glorious route to take.

On a sunny afternoon in 2006, three years later, I was amused my brother who had been screaming about how Gbenga Sesan rocked their school with his speech in OAU Ife.

“I can also invite this man” I said to myself

I found his email written at the back of the pamphlet. I sent an email to Gbenga Sesan  on 22/5/2007 (unedited):

“I am oluseun Onigbinde from the University of Agriculture abeokuta. An Ict Forum made from a group of students in the University(Unaab Ict Forum) is planning to organise an Ict conference And Exhibition in August 22nd -24th. Due to high level of knowledge and exposure in the Ict field, you have been honourably chosen as one of the key speakers to the event.

We hereby use this medium to to humbly inform you that your special presence and advice will be needed concerning the conference. The topic given to you by the organisers is

“THE ROLE OF NIGERIANS YOUTHS INTHE INFROMATION SOCIETY”

Thanks for your anticpated positive response .the official proposal shall be forwarded to your email very soon”

and he responded:

“Dear Seun:

I will expect the official proposal, hoping that it will have more details – and I’ll then advise on the possibility of joining you at the conference.

Best regards,”

This thrilled me.

“This was the confidence boost that I wanted. Like he just replied me without knowing me and he wants to attend.”

Gbenga Sesan did not attend the event as he had other engagement. He sent a friend and a mentor, Ayo Oladejo to do this.  When Ayo Oladejo arrived with Ugo Nwosu and he looked into the scanty hall for the University of Agriculture, Abeokuta. I was afraid he might be disappointed. His first words still rings in my head

“ I know if this was Tuface, this hall will be full”

That lifted my little faith. He spoke with grace and belief that ICT was the way to go. I affirmed that in my spirit that I was on the right path. Pockets of encouragements like this made me write CCNA hopeful that I will land a job in Airtel, where Ayo worked.

He came in company of Ugo Nwosu who currently works at Rockefeller Foundation (West Africa). Ugo also spoke and answered questions. Looking back, this has to be my happiest day in the University .

While they were leaving, we had nothing to offer. No even transport money but they happily zoomed off. They zoomed off and I watched Ayo’s car disappear in haste.

I look back to those days of innocence where all I had was dream. When the suit I wore on the day of the program was borrowed from Deji Olukokun and Pastor Bankole was asking me why was the trouser so short? When I had to design my programme event staying all night, tortured by my lack of expertise on Corel Draw. 

*******

I had met Professor Osinbajo once before he would be Vice-President but I wanted his audience recently for the “Open Government Partnership” and I was afraid to  write him a personal email. I felt it will be too intrusive considering his new status. I waited for days and I was going through the rings of protocol. I was tired. I decided to do it. I pressed the “send” button.

He replied three days later, directing me to who will arrange the meeting.

It brought the memories when Gbenga did so, eight years ago.

If only we can press the button, an extra layer of courage, we might never know how close we are.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “15. Ayo Oladejo, ‘Gbenga Sesan & Ugo Nwosu

  1. Friend, nice right up. I just flashed back to that period, the election was very funny. Nobody believed Raji could win the election. You fought very hard but things didn’t come your way. We blessed God for your life today, you are a through leader. How can I be a part of your organisation? Job well done.

  2. I remember with nostalgia the whole episode. How you shared the vision in my room in unity villa. My room was like the Secretariat… Lol. Remember all the stuff was designed on my desktop and proposal printed with that hp deskjet…. Lol.

    You won’t believe it that I still have that green coloured certificate we gave out….Sweet Reminisce.

    I remember vividly ow my class mates especially Eyitioluwabumi Oluwatunwafieyisan Abass would ask abt the prog. Remember we brought adeife, d guy who left OAU as one of the facilitators. Recall this guy dat came from OOU Ibogun to help out with website training. Sincerely being a part of dat program made me feel like one of the brightest chap in school, you recall how students were begging if we cld make the program yearly…..Cant believe we pulled that off as students especially when the school had not done anything specific to really discuss ICT. U rembr the VC sent a delegation to attend the program. Prof osinowo was really instrumental to the success of the event.

    Can’t forget that word too.. “if tuface was here the hall would be full”.. It was indeed an awesome experience.

    Any one who thought your rise to stardom today was a fluke should go find out how many ideas you have flirted with over the years. That’s why I always say nothing you achieve today or wld ever achieve is a surprise or wld be a surprise to me, we saw the egg before it hatched and became a hen.

    Till tomorrow that your election still dey pain me especially as they had to use religion politics in the end which was what led to a series of relying on religion sentiments by both faith to won election in Unaab in those days. I was in my hotel room in agbaara after the day’s work when I was informed u lost. I cld hardly sleep that night. If not for Industrial Attachment, trust me we wldnt have lost out if some ilumoka’s like me was around. Anyway na so God talk say e go be sha. Who knows what wld have happened today if u won that election…

    God bless unity villas folks… I miss those crazy days of ours. By the way I no even remember say na my suit u wear that day, d thing con turn you to teblic…. Lol, u go sha pay back ooooo, I must reap the fruits of that seed oo, so no story when I say na ur jet I wan take go Tulsa Oklahoma… Lol.

    God go make us bigger jare…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s