People thought I was too old to succeed

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By BASHIR ADEFAKA

Bosun Oladele, Principal Partner/Chief Executive Officer of Oladele & Oladele Solicitors, Lagos, was Governor Abiola Ajimobi’s first Commissioner for Information and Orientation in Oyo State.  He was relieved of his appointment on the 6th of November, 2012 along with two other members of the cabinet.  But while many received his sack news as a rude shock, Oladele described it as a routine event that must happen in the life of man.

Hard-work and service.  These, according to Oladele, are his stepping stones to success.  He is not only comfortable today as a professional, he is also relevant in politics. In the politics of Oyo State, Oladele is on ground.  He was a die-hard member of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) such that while others fled the party for fear of the unknown in the eight years that the PDP held sway in the state, Oladele remained a consistent youth leader and saw the party through its transformation from AD to Action Congress (AC) and later Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).

He says the road to success was rough.  The fourth in a family of five explains that but for the grace of God and the disciplinarian attitude of his parents who taught him and his siblings the virtues of good character and hard-work, it was hard to believe that the beginning of his success could come at the time it came.  No surprise he took the hard-working attitude to office as commissioner.

“I would say that if not for God, everything about me today would not have been possible because everything I have achieved came to me at that stage that human beings would say it’s rather becoming late.  Starting out from tertiary institution, I was trained as a teacher in the first instance and, having been trained as teacher, I, ordinarily, should go to the classroom and start teaching.

But by the virtue of my own nature and the kind of things that our parents taught us never to say die or quit, I always struggled to put in my best; aspiring, hoping and working towards it”,he started off as we sat down for this interview.

“I attended St. Agnes College of Education, Oyo.  I was supposed to go to university to complete my studies so that I could have a degree in education.  Along the line, I also put in for JAMB, took the examination to become a preliminary student, that is, year one in Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.  And at the point I matriculated to read law, to me, I would say I was probably one of the oldest in that class regarding the fact that I had had experience in a tertiary institution before then as an undergraduate.

“And graduating from OAU and through the Nigerian Law School, I wanted to learn, I wanted to be a practising lawyer and I wanted to be a good one.  So, I decided to team up with a law firm of, then, a young man that was busy and also amiable to me. I undertook my Youth Service there and I’m talking of Ade, Adeyeye & Co in Lagos here.

Barrister Adeyeye would tell me that he’ is a lawyer, a professional like you and that there is no way a lawyer can adequately pay a lawyer’s remuneration but that the best thing is to learn to be able to make this money yourself’.  And I was doing that without getting salary but if brief came, I would work on it and get a fraction of it.

“So, that encouraged me to learn harder because I believed then that it was sweet and it could be sweeter making your own money and having a chance over your money and how you want to spend it or how you want to manage it.”

Just for the aim of attaining after-school knowledge of the practice,Olad ele spent 15 years in the law firm without earning salary but, through the knowledge of making self-money taught him by the owner of the chamber, he began to ride a brand new car before leaving to set up his own law firm.

“By the time I was leaving him to set up my own law firm, I had already started riding a brand new car, bought out of my own sweat.  I had already become a partner in the law firm and head of chamber. I was able to handle things on my own and I left to form Oladele & Oladele Solicitors in 2008.

“Meanwhile I believe that none of the stretch was easy.  As a lawyer, you want to stay in a place in the name of learning and spend ten years, talk less of fifteen years?  But I have no regrets that, today, if I have to do it again, I will do it all over.  Because, it wasn’t just a commitment; it wasn’t the desire to learn; it wasn’t the aspiration to be able to hold my own but it was a virtue that I developed over time: patience and steadiness.  Staying with somebody in his own law firm for 15 years before you have your own, everybody would say that was rather late.  But, to me, that’s the way it was destined to be.”

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