It was unimaginable and unthinkable that the world would be without one of its brightest angel for so long, but now a reality that Uncle T left us exactly 10 years ago!
My relationship with Uncle T — Mr Tayo Aderinokun – my late Boss, is not something that I can ever forget. I’m a living fruit of Uncle T’s purposeful mentorship. And there are many of us, l am sure, at Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), who can never forget him as well. Time and space would constrain this testimony, but by God’s grace I hope to do a more comprehensive documentation one day.
I strongly believe that my adventure into the banking sector and working with GTB were perfect divine arrangements. Although as a graduate of Computer Science with Economics, and being widely acclaimed (whether truly or imagined) to be a very bright mind, I can say I had passed my plastic, impressionable years. But, clearly also, though the foundation of my life’s principles might have been firmly laid, one’s bosses and workplace ethics and practices could potentially alter or influence positively or negatively the final structure or outcome of one’s life. Bearing this in mind, I always thank GOD for placing me under the LEADERS that I worked with at GTB, most importantly Uncle T.
GTB, back then, a prodigious eaglet with the precocious, bold and instinctive drive, ready to challenge the status quo, has now become a giant mother eagle–a pathfinder, a pacesetter, a global financial institution in a class of its own. And Mr Tayo Aderinokun was undoubtedly one of the strongest and most consistently reliable Pillars of the bank who championed the Course of change and revolution.
He was the Deputy Managing Director when I joined GTB. I was at the Teller/Cashier point when I first met him in an unusual circumstance as a ‘Guest Teller’. From then on, our relationship became progressively and functionally cordial. But two years into my appointment at GTB, I had an urgent, serious reason to encounter him very deeply. Uncle T was a leader, the type we need in our larger society–he adhered strictly to laid down regulations without being superficially officious. In other words, he was firm and, at the same time, flexible. Firm to hold tenaciously to principles and letters of his professional and organisational ethics; and flexible enough to treat every issue on its merit, based on its premise and dynamic characteristics. No prejudice. No brought forward resentment. Merits!
I had a pressing need just two years into my career in the bank. Eventually, Uncle T remained the only officer who possessed the authority and administrative capacity to do “something”, if anything could be done at all. I needed a loan, at a time when procedurally, I was not due. So, my hope was slim.
Let me tell a story here—It had to do with a promise I had made, at about age 5, to my grandmother who had just lost her first son, so I was told. In her pain and anguish, lamenting that she had hoped he would be the one to build her a house, everyone was astonished when I walked briskly to her, consoled her and boldly assured her that I would build a house for her. And the time came when the promise was to be fulfilled and I couldn’t afford the asking price of a property that suddenly became available for purchase in our area. But I remembered the promise they said I made to my grandma and I made up my mind to give it all my best. The quest to fulfil the promise encouraged me to approach Uncle T as suggested by one of his close subordinates who was my own superior and friend.
I narrated the story to him. He listened very attentively. His look was intense, penetrating and searching. But after what seemed an eternity, he said, “So, now, there’s an opportunity for you to fulfil that promise you made to your Grandma?” I said, “Yes Sir”. “Go and write a memo to that effect. I will approve it.” Uncle T, Mr Tayo Aderinokun, the GOD-sent Boss approved the loan as promised. With the money and my little savings, I bought the house for my Grandma, thereby fulfilling the agelong promise!
This was my first landmark accomplishment in life. This singular act lifted me phenomenally. I had always been a committed and conscientious worker. But my commitment, attachment and devotion to the work and to GTB increased beyond bounds. My admiration for Uncle T also increased. God had used both GTB and my boss Uncle T to fulfil this dream. I worked very hard, my ratings soared correspondingly and I got my promotions. I realized there and then that even seemingly hard dreams are achievable given the right mindset, the right people and the right circumstances. I have so much to say about Uncle T.
I can go on and on and on.
How he practically monitored my affairs when I left GTB for the United Kingdom on Chevening Scholarship for my second Master’s degree.
How Uncle T received, based on my introduction and recommendation, and assisted my friend and big brother, Engr Segun Oni, when he wanted to contest Ekiti State governorship seat in 2007.
How he encouraged and supported my ambition to contest to represent Ekiti South senatorial district in 2010.
The list is countless!
Uncle T, you have left us for ten years now? One dreadful decade…just like yesterday! And if I still feel in my heart this painful pangs of your irreplaceable absence, irredeemable loss, one can only imagine what your immediate family would have been going through. But I trust in God’s grace that has kept us and has been sustaining all of us.
Oga, I miss you. I miss your sternness and your friendliness. I miss your serious posture and your humorous interludes. I miss your frank counsel and your permission to decide. I miss your teachings, technicalities and your leading. I really miss you.
But, in keeping with the vision I shared with you several times (and which surprisingly you encouraged and backed me up to pursue), concerning my intention to extend the revolution and leadership exemplification– which the Team you led at GTB– demonstrated; and which has now spread to cover the whole banking sector, I am still pursuing my dream to occupy political office, for opportunities to keep your legacies and to execute the changes you taught me to envision undauntedly. This is why I am in the race to become the Governor of Ekiti State in 2022.
Seeing empirical results of the leadership qualities you helped brought out and nurtured in me is one of the best ways to say, ‘Thank you’, and to serve humanity.
Uncle T, I will always remember you.
Adieu for the umpteenth time!
A pseudo-political movement Odundun group, now Odundun Vanguard, which literally translates as “builder of a better society”, was formed for the propagation of the agenda. The campaign activities witnessed many firsts – with visits to all the nooks and crannies of towns and villages in the 64 wards of the six local governments that constitute Ekiti South Senatorial District, many of which were acknowledged as the first by any senatorial aspirant in the area. His wife also visited and held meetings with all women groups across the area, enunciating specific programmes and agenda for implementation.
According to Odundun: “We provided opportunities for the people to interact and make their expectations known through the various easy-to-access platforms, including our weekly radio programmes. We were humbled when on Monday September 20th, 2010, the campaign train momentarily brought the State’s Capital, Ado-Ekiti close to a standstill, a sequence that was described as unprecedented in the State, all to the glory of God! What was meant to be a simple submission of our Nomination Form at the Party Secretariat became a carnival, with the State Exco of the party describing it as one of the best outings ever witnessed at the secretariat!”
The colourful campaign outings and media programmes initiated by the group raised the bar for other aspirants and within a short time, Kayode Adaramodu – “Odundun”, as fondly called, became a household name and the leading contender for the ticket.
THE UNDERCURRENTS – PROBING BACKWARDS; PROJECTING FORWARD
The build-up to the party primaries was as exciting as the entire campaign activities. The initial timetable from the party was to hold the primaries for both House of Representative and Senate on the SAME day. Somehow, the timetable was changed and the primary for the House of Representatives was held a day BEFORE that of the Senate. Eventually, the candidate from Ilawe-Ekiti, my home town, won the election and that changed the political landscape with an overnight campaign and war of attrition targeted at preventing Ilawe-Ekiti alone from producing the candidates for both House of Representatives and Senate at the same time.
Kayode Adaramodu is NOT the run-of-the-mill Nigerian politician. He is a Special breed. Over the years, he has remained constant, faithful, rock-steady with the PDP – shunning many high-level temptations. Here is a New-breed Political figure who is out for a unique purpose.
“From the onset, I have continuously stated that the aspiration and contest was about our collective future. This was encapsulated in my campaign message that my aspiration is not about me, but about US!”
As a thoroughbred Ekiti son, a loyal Party man, a God-fearing Human being, and a RARE, New-Breed politician, Kayode has always put the interests of the State and his people foremost in his heart. He has always been in good working relationship with party leaders, members and other key stakeholders in the State and he has never relented in his dream. His constituency and all around him bear overflowing testimonies of his activities – helping people around him to solve problems and live their dreams; bringing positive changes to the lives of people.
Working with his allies and other believers in his dream, Kayode has been resolute on the journey towards the enthronement of good governance and a new order in public service for EKITI State.
Hear him again:
“Until that day, when the resources of our people are optimally used to the benefit of common people, you will always find me on the front line of democracy – fighting for the future. It is with humility therefore, that I present and offer myself and my service to the people of Ekiti State as an Aspirant in the 2022 Governorship Election”.
We have so much at stake that we cannot stop the struggle now.
We can make a difference…
It is possible!
The dream lives on . . .
Odundun de… a sode dero!
Communication & Media Relations Team