Ogunlana Sikiru Ifedayo: A philanthropist and grassroots leader clocks 1 - THE NEW DAWN ONLINE


Monday, April 06, 2020

Ogunlana Sikiru Ifedayo: A philanthropist and grassroots leader clocks 1

Otunba Ogunlana Sikiru Ifedayo

By Uformadu Ikechukwu John 

“I don’t want to be remembered. I am still here and have much to do.

As difficult as it might seem, I want every stage of my life to be more exciting than the last”. — Madeleine Albright, 64th Secretary of State of the United States.

Madeleine Albright’s witticism on her own life applies as much as our very own Chief, (Otunba) Ogunlana Sikiru Ifedayo, CEO, Ogunlana Success Foundation, Ogunlana Success Hostels, Assistant manager, National Films and Video Censor Board (NFVCN), Coordinator of a Self Determined Pan-African Yoruba group, COSEG, a Marxist, a philosopher, a teacher, a lover of students' struggle, a philanthropist, and a lover of God.

Ogunlana Sikiru Ifedayo remains an enigma, a deep, restless and controversial leader whose footprints remain indelible in the sands of time, his unflinching and unrelinquishing passion for humanity. His humanitarian gestures spans across colors, race or tribe, his contributions to communual developments and the entire students constituency at large are concrete and consequential.

From the left: Ogunlana Ifedayo, Shosanya Oluwatobi and Uformadu Ikechukwu John at Shoprite, Ikeja Lagos State

While some philosophers hold fast to the apothegm that "Some are born great, some achieve greatness and others have greatness thrust upon them." The general perception of Ogunlana Sikiru Ifedayo, suffixed "Success", or “Bros D” as he is fondly and colloquially referenced, is that greatness was thrust upon his shoulders. As he often converse in his admonition to young students “be prospective; look beyond the present, envisaged future possibilities....". It is not in doubt, however, that he rose to stardom that fate and destiny prepared for him. 

As you plus one today, 6 April, it is worth reflecting objectively on "Bros D" as a leader, his impacts on our communities, especially Southwestern geopolitical zones, our contemporary politics, the students constituency, and, possibly, on the future of Nigeria.

Leadership is not always a popularity contest, even if some of Nigeria’s political leaders, after having been “popularly” elected into office, spend their tenures seeking popularity while remaining spectacularly ineffective in governance. For you, you've shown responsiveness and diligence to the calls and cries of the people even without holding political office. While other are building mansions within, around and outside the country you've have built yours in the hearts of the people. 

Comr. Ifedayo (permit me to prefix your name with the title of a "Comr.") is committed to Nigeria’s unity and therefore to the effective management of our diversity. This sets him apart from many of his contemporaries. Of all Nigerian politicians and do-gooders, "Bros D" sees far beyond tribe and creed, focusing more on the substance and content of individuals. He is not an ethnic person but is no less Yoruba than any son or daughter of Oduduwa simply because he considers the length and breadth of Nigeria as his abode.

Ogunlana Sikiru Ifedayo is a man of ideas. Unlike many Nigerian and African leaders, he is obsessed at both conceptual and practical levels with the challenge of development and democracy that African countries face. He is a colossus, an academic. But, for all his achievements and impact, he is human. He is fallible. He acknowledges that leaders make mistakes and should learn from them. Without mincing words, I have no doubt that he is well equipped with the necessary experience to paddle the ship of our country to greatness if granted the mantle of leadership. He's dependable.

Happy birthday to you Sir

Uformadu Ikechukwu John (Prof Hykay) 
Students' Activist.
Associate Cord., Peaceful Pacesetter Leading Light.
Coordinator, Ogun State Youth Agenda Movements (OYAM).
Director of Media and Publicity, YAN, Ogun State.
Director of Media and Publicity to the Deputy Coordinator, NANS S/W ZONE D.
Member, ARMA, Agenda 2023.

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