While in secondary school, I was a member of (the) blue house for our inter-house sporting event, which was usually the talk of the town whenever it takes/took place. In one of those events, we were stranded, as we had nobody to represent the house in the 100 metres race; so I volunteered to run the 100 metres Sprint. Our house master warned me bitterly not to represent the house if I knew (that) I couldn’t do the job, but I insisted that I could do it. He registered me for the race and asked that I should be served the benefits that follow(ed)), such as glucose, blue vest, blue hand band and other benefits.
The race began and I started well. My name was on the lips of everyone watching — and I felt on top of the world within the first few seconds of the race. In negotiating the usual bend on the race track, my strength began to fail me, while others came closer gradually. I opened my mouth as if there were incantations that could save me; but the more I tried, the slower my speed. In a matter of minutes, I was at the back of everyone with my blue vest — I was about to stop midway.
Honestly, a lot of thoughts went through my mind and one of them came to pass. I decided to stop and find a place to sit but like a mighty rushing wind, our house master was behind me with a cane to force me end the race, even though I was the last on the track.
It was frustrating, embarrassing and shameful. I was beaten to the finish line after others had safely completed the race few seconds ahead of me. Till today, I love blue but hate my house master, I love winning but hate negotiating the bend and I love victory without cane.
In every race, finishing is important and what is more important than finishing is “finishing well”.
After the NBA Ilorin branch election 2018, I knew completing my two-year term was not as important as completing it well. Having to serve lawyers like me and doing it brilliantly for two years was like a mirage. So I decided to set some rules for myself in order to succeed in the office (of NBA Ilorin Branch Secretary).
The first rule was to serve all members without exception to anyone, even my opponents during the election. Politics is gone, governance is here.
The second was discharging my duties without any form of complaint(s).
And the third was loyalty to my chairman and all other executives — who are all team players in the holistic vision of moving our great association forward.
These set rules helped me so much to the extent that when challenges like high waves stormed my ship as the secretary; I eased the stress with “Sir”, “Ma”, “Oga”, “Oga mi” and “Oga mi sir” to everyone — including my juniors in the profession. It was service to all persons, and all persons meant all persons in the actual sense of it. It was not easy, truth be told; but the trust reposed by the people must be rewarded.
The race after the election was the need to fulfill all the promises made during the campaign. And that was a real deal — it could be likened to the 100-metre dash I participated in secondary school (which I told the story earlier on in this piece).
I remembered a day that I had 142 missed calls just because I needed to drive from Ibadan to Ilorin, to and fro. Calls, messages, chats and other forms of communications were devised by members; which I must attend to without complaint(s).
What a term! What a job! And what a life of a servant! My experience was sweet and it taught me that the best service is service to humanity, as I derived joy answering to all requests and doing the needful, though with every sense of deligence and hardwork.
Being the NBA Ilorin Branch Secretary is not more of what one can take, but more of what one can give to the people — service.
A Secretary to all classes of persons in this profession must be one who will not form caucus, but make friends. One who is after making impacts and not a name for himself (primarily). One who will be ready to sacrifice his visions on the altar of that of others for the best and for success to all. One whose patience endures and commitment is far-reaching. One who knows that an enemy to one is an enemy to all, and a friend to one is not a friend to all. It is only a person who embodies all these that will survive, thrive and succeed as the secretary of our noble association/NBA Ilorin Branch.
We do not need division, separation and enimity. We need someone who can bring us together as one. These are what a leader must do, without any compromise, and such are what a secretary of our great association must ensure he/she exhibits.
We lead people by being their servants, as service is a product of ultimate kindness. I have done my best and I believe I have finished well this time, without force or cane.
Glory be to God.
John Mayokun Dada is the current and outgoing Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association, Ilorin Branch. He is a practising Lawyer and a Notary public. You can reach him on his mobile phone at +2347035667039. You can also reach him via his mail address, firstname.lastname@example.org.