DR. OLUDARE Ogunlana’s, from infancy, has been a definition of his christened name. Oludare literally means individuals that God has justified. A justified generation is a blessed generation. Dr. Oludare’s birth to Ogunlanas and Adepojus is a fulfilment of transformation, freedom and blessing.
The first son of Most Superintendent Apostle Moses Ogunlana has been a father figure to the family. Considering our humble backgrounds with elusiveness of basic necessities of life, Oludare Ogunlana was self-motivated, forward-looking and determined. In the adventurous commitment to finding path for his people, he has for the umpteenth time wrestled with dragons; leaving his life in service for a better tomorrow. He laboured where he was supposed to be a champion.
Despite precarious circumstances capable of informing a person’s decision to give up education pursuit, Oludare Ogunlana kept moving. The vision he set for himself was formidable enough to surmount danger of distractions. Touching the line of reality that he would have to gather some money in his post-high-school days before pursuing tertiary education, he worked with companies but he did not allow himself to be distracted by the tinsel emoluments such employments brought forth. As a result of no reliable support, he toiled to the extent that this adversary negatively impacted on the smooth journey of his academic pursuit but taking horn by the bull, he triumphed.
As a promoter of merit, he eschews circumvention. When myself and my immediate brother (Rotimi Ogunlana) were to write JAMB, he asked us to enter his car and he was driving us to a coaching center on the campus of the University of Ibadan. As we got to UI’s second gate, one of his ‘comrades’ joined his car and he was quick to understand where our brother was taking us to. He just said, “Dare, don’t waste your brothers’ time; I have a special center for these exams and register them in my center and they will pass it once. They are brilliant enough to defend it when they get to higher institutions.” My brother nodded in affirmation. As Mr. Special Center alighted from his car, he looked at us and he said “I could see happiness on your faces. There is no shortcut to examination success and if there is any, I will not support it. I will register you at the center and the onus lies on you to do the needful.” My surprise was that the money the coaching center collected from us was 300% more than money demanded by the special center.
When I finished my National Diploma from Federal Polytechnic, he mandated me to go back to university. He discouraged me from using the certificate to get job as he believed I might be complacent with the remuneration that such a job would give me. He instructed me to go and start professional examinations and he financed it. He did not stop his admonition until I got admission to Obafemi Awolowo University.
TO DR. OLUDARE OGUNLANA, no chore is too petty for him. Sometime around year 2010 that he travelled to Ghana in my company, I woke up in the dead of night seeing him ironing his cloth. This was a person who just assisted a person with N50,000 before we left Lagos. Meditating about his action, I learnt a great lesson due to my understanding of his financial capability to pay a dry cleaner whatever amount the service attracted. He spent more than N200,000 to charity before we left Nigeria. It’s from him I learnt that any luggage you can carry without another person’s assistance, don’t allow any helper to carry it for you either as a service to honour you or for other reason. He said it’s a colonial mentality and adopted by our oppressive politician to create class.
Dr. OLUDARE OGUNLANA prefers diverting his hard-earned money on people’s empowerments to building an estate and mansion. He is solely responsible for the financing of his siblings, distant and close cousins’ educations. He would say that the best MANSION of today would be an eyesore in the future; only legacy he would build was educational empowerment of his people. He once instructed us to sell one of his vehicles (Toyota bus) and to give it to one of our brothers to pay Masters’ Degree tuition fee.
He’s a role model. He loves knowledge. He seeks knowledge. He loves people who values knowledge. Countless time, he will be asking me the time I will go for a Law Degree. Despite vicissitudes of life, he pursued education to the PhD level and he’s not stopping seeking knowledge. By mentorship and finance, he has produced certified engineers, chartered accountant, medical professionals, PhD holder, and other enviable professionals among his siblings and cousins. As a matter of fact, none of his siblings is without a degree from reputable ivory towers.
DR. OLUDARE OGUNLANA is a certified “olori ebi”. His generosity has placed an unavoidable burden on him. No member of family cares about his financial condition before placing calls for bail-out on any financial responsibility. Marriages, funerals, health issues, education and anything that cannot fly without money are automatic burdens reserved for his intervention. He’s a coordinator of our father’s polygamous home and his maturity illuminates every darkened perspective that polygyny usually breeds. He brings together everybody under his liberality and he eliminates every form of dichotomy right from childhood.
No discerning sibling needed to be told before s/he would observe that our father had a special love for Dr. Oludare. This love was not triggered by Dr. Oludare’s coordinating pedigree alone but our brother’s choice of Christian denomination. Dr. Oludare Ogunlana is the only son that never left C&S church, the original church of our birth, till our father exited this sinful world. Some years into my father’s year of demise, he was saying that he would be happy if I went back to the C&S church. He was making reference to Dr. Oludare’s commitment to the denomination even while in a foreign country. My father was saying it with confidence of joy that Dr. Oludare was treading his path in the Christ. Dr. Oludare Ogunlana is not only a dedicated member of the C&S in the US today but a prophet doing God’s commandment for humanity which is ‘love and charity’.
I celebrate DR. OLUDARE OGUNLANA today as he marks his special birthday. I pray for long life and sound health on the land of the living. May God multiply your blessings beyond your imagination. The protection of God shall not cease on your children. The blessing of God to the children and generation of Abraham shall be the portion of your children.
Many happy returns sir, senior prophet and a son of prophet.
Omo Imodu Iwadun
Inu kan gogo
Omo Imodu pa’ro kan; emi pa’kan
Imodu ni mo d’odo mo p’ekute
Mo ni mode papa, mo b’eja
Omo Ologbojo asu eru iwo
Alele l’ona ijesha
Alele loni onipepe isaaju
Ologbojo lo si ni iwo
Omo ajamu ojo
Omo porogodo bi ogunjalu
O duro shooro loko oloko
Igba odun, odun kan ni sir
Gabriel Ogunlana writes from Ibadan, Oyo state capital