OKE BABAWALE: An Antithesis of AFAS Folly

Oseni Ibrahim

There is God’s plenty in AFAS Press. Apology for a seeming plagiarism. The former were not my words. They were Poet Dryden’s. But, indeed, for emphasis, and to capture the mood of the moment, there is God’s plenty in our Press. We saw it last Saturday. Friends, well-wishers and even enemies saw it too. We experienced what it meant to have a responsible and imaginatively intelligent leader in charge of an organisation. We also saw a striking antithesis of the administrative ineptitude which has been the lot of our Faculty’s Students’ Association over the years.

AFAS Press did not build its castle in the air. No mouth diarrhoea. We did not promise to host the angelic host, to impress the temporal souls. We do not have political friends, or brothers as business moguls, nor business associates, who gave lofty but phantom promises. We however have a leader of worthy intellection and not foul-mouthed social connection. Through such rare gift, AFAS Press held her excursion and dinner in grand style. Neither of the events was a shadow of either. None was second to the other. No extortion of members. No dubious game on guests. No burden of extra charges. No inflation of figures. Thanks to the astute leadership of Babawale Oke Simon, a leader of other leaders,  epitome of greatness, humility personified, social edifier and student- scholar of enviable intellection. In fact, let us muse a little on the journey of a worthy leader.

In truth and honesty, I do not know of any journalist in this community who started his leadership role in campus journalism earlier than Oke Babawale. Before the end of his second year, when many of his contemporary journalists were learning the basics of campus journalism, the boss had already intellectually fortified himself to be entrusted with the number one position of the Premier Faculty Press. Wale proved not a leader chosen out of necessity necessitated by the absence of better heads. He restored discipline into the Press, while also establishing it as a force to reckon with among other campus Press organisation, including the UCJ.

The leadership astuteness and journalistic influence of Oke Babawale soon transcended the ambit of the Premier faculty, as he produced four members who were capable of holding the positions of the Editor-in-Chief, the P.R.O , the Political Editor in the editorial crew of the highly revered Union of Campus (UCJ). This accounts for why he is often touted as the boss of bosses and editor of editors. He is never envious of the greatness of his member journalists but always very happy in their happiness. Such defines greatness. And one cannot but nod in agreement to the state of Malvolio, Shakespeare’s love-sick character in Twelfth Night that “some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them.” For   Wale Oke Simon, it is all in one.

Meanwhile, as one would expect and as noted by late sage novelist, Chinua Achebe, a writer of rare rectitude cannot align with politicians. Wale’s is not an exception to this opinion. He has never had it easy with the Faculty’s student politicians since he became the first journalist in the Arts Faculty; yet he never compromised his uprightness, for favour of friends or fear of foes. Which among his many encounters with the Faculty’s student politicians shall we recount? Is it the period of witch-hunt and kidnap threats? Or the moment of tribal and ethnic appeal by those who wanted him to jettison his moral stand on the basis of sentiments? Or the tumultuous moments when a President called for the outright proscription of his Press organisation because Wale was relaying too much of his improprieties to AFASites? Wale has done and staked so much in edifying our Association, albeit unknown to those who do not care to know.

Now is the time for the boss to step aside. Sad.  Nay, such valediction of greatness forbids mourning, as we are told by the English bard, John Donne. But as our hero has quitted and our minds are unwilling to let go, we cannot but echo another of Shakespeare’s voice: Farewell fair cruelty!

Congratulations Rebecca Ajayi!

Leadership is responsibility and being chosen to lead in itself is a sign of being responsible. Miss Rebecca Ajayi, the pendulum of AFAS Press leadership has just swung to your side. Congratulations.

Remember, no alibi has hampered your choice as the new head of the AFAS Press, none should be of constraint to discharging your responsibility with fairness. You are now the new voice of AFASites. So never mute when you need to mutter.  That Wale’s success may be deemed successful; you must be a good successor. We are confident of your capability as a leader; and like Babawale, we hope to find you a leader as messenger.

Welcome Back Mr. President!

A friend told a friend who told another friend that told me that AFAS President, Adejare Adeoye, has just been reinstated. How true is that? If true, congratulations to Mr President on your reinstatement. And congratulations to the star gazers whose abracadabra has not failed. They predicted the suspension would not last. They said it was just a kangaroo decision by the FLC to bamboozle AFASites and lay the matter to rest. The star has aligned with the gazers. Sad. What a system. But not too bad. That is definitely the definition of indefinite.img-20150908-wa0001.jpg

But, then, I guess the quick reinstatement is good for the President. He will have the chance to offer contrition for his innumerable sins of cancelled promises. He will also learn to say little and do much. A tip to Mr. President: Wale Oke is no longer the AFAS Press Editor- in – Chief. So you can now confide in him. He will keep your secret secret. Bury the executive ego and consult him. I am sure he will be willing to reveal to you how he has achieved so much by speaking less, that you may take a cue.


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