A life of courage and consistency – Opinion – The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News


Left to him, his 70th birthday would have passed without loud fanfare, drumming or dancing. He doesn’t really believe in celebrating his birthday once a year.

On the contrary, for him, every day is his birthday. In this regard, therefore, it has always taken me a subtle persuasion and diplomacy to convince him to accept the annual publication of a tribute in his honor, in which I regularly recount his story of his kindness to humanity.

Chief Oluwole Oladapo Olanipekun, Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR) and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) have reached the level of eponymous personalities recognized only by their first names like Awolowo, Balewa, Zik, Soyinka, Shakespeare among others due to his professional achievements, his phenomenal philanthropy and his immortal ideals and noble values ​​that he represents. In a world teeming with toxic individualism, conceited polarization, and selfish aggrandizement, it is gratifying to see the same of this megalithic legal luminary, all of whom preach the cultivation of Omoluabi cultural values ​​which, in keeping with his high school motto. , Ilesa Grammar School, which says “e huwa omoluabi”, behaves with integrity.

Omoluabi is a Yoruba philosophical and cultural concept describing a person who believes in hard work, honesty and respects the rights of others, values ​​the integrity given to the community, and believes in fair play, justice and justice. ‘equity. All this and more is what Chef Olanipekun stands for. He wears his legal ministerial garment with enthusiasm and grace and it fits him so well. He is rich and fair. Indeed, he is a rich man, a rich and influential man who is gifted with remarkable verbal bliss in both English and Yoruba.

Fortunately, I had the rare privilege of getting close to Chief Olanipekun when he was appointed Chairman of the University of Ibadan Board of Trustees in 2009. And being a specimen worthy of study, I don’t never let the opportunity to escape me. It is perhaps no coincidence that he brought me closer. I want to state with unequivocal accuracy that among his many mentees across the country, I am happy and honored to be counted. I have benefited from his generosity in countless ways.

As chairman of the IU board at the time, he did a dandy job. His contributions were both largely interventionist and redemptive. He spent his personal money to help unemployment insurance. He never took a dime from unemployment insurance. To mark his tenure in the IU, he built an amphitheater with a capacity of 400 seats. He brought a private focus to the public sector in UI and changed operating styles. For example, I remember November 17, 2012, when the then Minister of Education, Professor Ruqayyat Ahmed Rufai, had to command Ajibode Road, Wole Olanipekun Amphitheater before going to the convocation hall, Olanipekun stunned everyone with his attitude at work. He called me around 5:35 am to find out if the chairs and awnings were already on site. I couldn’t tell him it wasn’t my responsibility. He called then Vice-Chancellor Professor Isaac Adewole to find out the level of preparation. This legal beacon called on everyone to make sure the minister was not embarrassed. He practically took over and was leading us all to success and perfection.

He is an unequivocally insipid man, spartan and sober in his lifestyle, honorable and noble in his personal outlook who never gives up his ideological commitment. It is indeed majestic, resplendent and fascinating. He is gracious in kindness, generous in gifts because he is a man of excellent manner. A man of impeccable integrity and zero tolerance for corruption.

Olanipekun is a great man who has been used by God to raise up many men. Thousands of children of the poor have been raised thanks to its scholarship program which swallows up millions of naira every year. I also benefited from the scholarship for my PhD program. What about future lawyers? He has helped many lawyers in their careers thanks to his extraordinary breadth of heart. Obviously, when some people stand up for personal and selfish interests, Olanipekun stands up for the good of the generality.

He is generally respected for his great humility despite his formidable intellectual exploits and professional achievements. He doesn’t have time to think about the finer points of unethical conduct. This legal panjandrum has always maintained a dignified silence and quietly tucked away in its rather intimidating corner. He thinks it is better to react to certain irritations in life without reacting. With it, you are assured of wise-cracks, deep thoughts, spiritually ennobling intuitions, sublime statements and words of wisdom. Not so long ago, I encountered turmoil and asked for his intervention. After listening to my case, Olanipekun looked at me and joked, “Sunday, who taught you wisdom but failed to teach you the value of insanity?” It took me a while to decide on the scope of his epigrammatic rhetorical question!

Interestingly, shortly after completing his tenure at UI as Chairman of the Board, Olanipekun was also appointed Chairman of the Board of Ajayi Crowther University (ACU) Oyo. He’s still there, replicating all the good work he’s done in the UI. He has built several structures for the ACU, paved roads and continues to spend his money just to ensure optimal human happiness.

To corroborate the saying that charity begins at home, this legend has done so much for his ancient city, Ikere Ekiti. He built an ultramodern multi-million naira church for the Anglican Communion. It has donated computer centers to some high schools in addition to the health center, as has the Wole Olanipekun scholarship program through which many destitute but brilliant students across the country get continued educational assistance after 20 years. . Yet this suave gentleman does not display egocentric pomp. He is careful and parsimonious, preaching the virtues of humility, devotion and nobility. He speaks with admiration, just as he remains essentially Puritan in his indulgence and eternally transparent in his dealings.

Without a doubt, Olanipekun, who is no less a paladin of moral, legal, social and political rectitude, leads a life of sacrifice and service with his deep benevolence which is expressed in his warm looks. For me, a life that touches others lives on forever. This sweet man with a stellar character achieved historic immortality with many lives he touched. From his sartorial preferences to his leadership style, he stands tall enough and far from the archetypal lot. Her signature smile is attractive, sparkling and memorable. It is a story of decency and dignity.

Call him a skilled minefield walker, you probably won’t go wrong. Olanipekun has successfully passed through some of life’s many traps, characterized by betrayal, betrayal, and outright envy. So it is an institution of learning, a school of wisdom and a moving library that is true; a rare embodiment of courage, charisma and credibility. His exemplary life remains mnemonic.

As he celebrates his 70th birthday, we can only pray that the Chef does not fall from his tower. May he continue to be sensitive to the Lord’s guidance as I ask for greater grace for greater glory for our collective benefactor in the many years to come.

Born in Ikere Ekiti, Ekiti State, on November 18, 1951, Olanipekun attended Amonye Grammar School, Ikere Ekiti between 1965 and 1969, where he obtained the West African School Certificate (WASC). His academic brilliance informed his appointment as Principal Prefect. He entered Ilesa Grammar School in 1970 from where he obtained the Higher School Certificate (HSC) in 1971.

At Ilesha Grammar School, the young Olanipekun displayed his innate leadership qualities, thus becoming the editor of the school magazine (The Spike). He was also chairman of the student representation committee in 1971. In 1972 he was admitted to the University of Lagos where he obtained the Bachelor of Laws degree in 1975. As a moth, Olanipekun attracted many friends and admirers with its enchanting glow. which led to this election as Secretary General of the Students’ Union between 1973 and 1974.

He attended the Nigerian Law School in Lagos from 1975 to 1976 and was admitted to the Nigerian Bar in 1976. He was a junior lawyer with Messrs. Oniyangi & Co Ilorin between 1977 and 1979. In 1980 he became the main partner of MM. Wole. Olanipekun & Co. Perhaps one can only remind Olanipekun of what God said about him and he is like in the book of Isaiah 3:10: “Tell the righteous that all will be well with them, for they will enjoy the fruit of their actions. Happy birthday, boss.

Saanu is at the University of Ibadan.


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