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The Man, Ay Buluma .....‘And Tomorrow Is My Birthday’

By KANMI KEHINDE
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A year ago, 22nd February, 2013, Akinbuluma Ayokanmi Kehinde (popularly called AY Buluma, some, Bulumic Agenda) after delivering a powerful, loaded, compelling and promising manifesto and in a captivating regalia declared on the elevated podium, 'And tomorrow is my Birthday'. That attracted the multitudes in the loudest ovation. That statement as well as the logical presentation of his programmes was not doubt, responsible for the overwhelming votes Buluma had in the election. As many saw birthday on Election Day as a glorious coincidence.

You will recall that AY BULUMA pulled massive votes in the election even above those officers who contested unopposed in the election. That has been adjudged to be the highest votes pulled by a candidate in SU election in history.

The General Secretary in spite of this has remained ever-focused, vibrant, pro-active, relentless, and humble in the service to humanity.

Buluma, not being an ingrate and despite his obvious chances of winning the election, woke up early in the morning of his winning the election in a jingle (by the popular 9ice. 'No Be Mistake')of appreciation to all halls of residence. This has been affirmed as exceptional. You will also recall that Buluma returned to some halls to appreciate them with simple gifts.

One of my convictions on his ability was the steadfastness he displayed in a challenge that occurred at the commencement of his assumptions of office. That was in the battle for speakership. Buluma wanted no influence of the executives on this but simply wanted the best and popular candidate to emerge. His statement, 'I am saying this under duress', aided the SRC members to gaining deep understanding of situation thereby giving them direction in making the right choices. Although he (Buluma) seems to be alone among the Eight executives, others realized his good position in no time.

At his assumption of office, many expecting him to be more flashy and luxurious were almost disappointed as Buluma seems not to be concerned about materials things. Students were moved to read one of Buluma's statements when granted the first interview by a pressman hear him. 'I am poorer than I was before the election as I am sacrifice money, human, material resources for the survival of my office and the Union in general'

Buluma spent days on his seat even while other excos were gone home. When asked why he kept working, he said, 'the power house (mitochondrion) must not stop working to keep thing working'. No sooner had he assumed office, than the cleaner and other excos began to notice his stay back overnight to 'clear' his table. The cleaners left him in the office and met him when they came back early the next day to sweep still sitting, writing and reading. You may wish to know that Buluma has often forgotten to eat from morning till evening.

No doubt, the Law Student is a workaholic. His attitude to work has never diminished. It is of note to say that Buluma never stopped work even when the strike lingered. There will always be one thing or the order to do in the office. He takes his duty as if he were been paid.

His dedication to SU calling is beyond description. For instance, since he assumed office, Buluma has often had to battle with eye pains and boil. This was always resulting from light penetrations from the Laptop.

Notwithstanding his doggedness and dedication to the SU callings, AY BULUMA has remained relentless in this academic pursuit. Despite his busy schedules, Buluma never missed his classes for no justifiable reasons. His contributions in classes have remained non-diminished. Buluma's ability to combined tedious-classroom works and assignments with the Union busy-times is challenging. When asked how he was coping with studies he said remarkably, 'I should not make less than two-One in law, if I do, then I have failed in UI, so I work harder to cover up'

Buluma, has his fellow excos call him, believe in the spirit of brotherhood and unity, even at the faces of discord and animosity. It will interest you to know that Buluma had had several altercations and disagreements with his fellow excos, particularly with his overbearing President. But, he has often displayed maturity in the pursuit of unity amid the Excos. On many occasions, he has served as mediator between two conflicting factions of the executives and with the council.

Buluma is an intelligent chap. He displayed a great level of maturity by His words in the Press Conference called by the UCJ. Although, there was no consensus as to whether to attend the Press Conference or not as each of the executives was invited, Buluma attended and gave defenses on behalf of all the executives and the Union in general.

On why his reaction to rancor has always been lowly, he said, 'we can't but have issues in the executive council, but we are supposed to handle it in the civility the council connotes not resorting to gossips, media alerts, hatred, and altercations'.

His application of his legal studies to his SU callings is quite noble and remarkable. Obviously, this stands him out among his peers. He has almost become legal secretary in his SU mission. I recalled a congress called without normal procedures, Buluma faulted the gathering for wants of legality such that the decision reached was null and void even though some executives were present at the so-called congress

I recall the case of a student who had issues with Landlord-Agent. Buluma wrote the landlord, who is a lawyer, calling his attention to the loopholes in his decision. That made him (agent-lawyer) changed his mind and granted a relief to salvage the situation. Go to Buluma, and listen to the stories of his past failures in elections both at the faculty and SU levels and his challenge of the electoral bodies for irregularities and carelessness and you will confirm his legal ability to save situation.

His decorous means of pursuing justice has attracted Kudos from his fellow executives, management and above all, legal practitioners/officers. I was chanced to be in his office sometimes ago when a Lawyer visited him in his legal regalia. After much deliberation and persuasions, Buluma reaffirmed. 'The problem was carried into us and we are bound to ensure justice prevails without carrying-over.'

Buluma never took his office for granted. He remained the most disciplined and dignified of the executives. One would wonder whether he is under obligation to dress always as formal as he does. Hardly would you see him without being formally dressed. His natives are fitting and are not worn anyhow to connote the dignity of his office and our union in general. He needs not give formal introduction about his arrival, 'I am this or that.' When you see him, look at his chest, indeed, you see him on his I D card. He takes his position as privilege and must therefore use it is judicially and respectfully. He is very presentable

Buluma's attitudes negate the popular belief that politicians are for from God. His consistent prayers in the office every morning before anything at all even while people are waiting for him is an indication of his belief in what God can do and hence the putting Him (GOD) first. No wonder he his succeeding in this assignment and gaining majority on issues where he seemed to be alone at the onset. This also I think, is responsible for why nearly all students like him. If you have never met him, please d

His generous nature is to be emulated. This is depicted on many occasions. The most outstanding was a day with him, when a prospective PG Student came to Him in his office. After narrating his ordeals that he misplaced his wallet and therefore had no money for transport fare, Buluma, after asking some questions, was moved with pity, yet he had no much money on him he had N120 on him. He brought out all he had in his pocket, gave N100 to the man.

His funny nature coupled with his accommodating spirit has attracted many to him. This has given him the wherewithal to cool heightened tensional complaints and worries of students. His office is like a cooling Van as he always says, 'this office is for all of us, so please always come around

Buluma pays no attention to criticisms and uncomplimentary comments but remains ever-focused to the very end. He believes that the system will not work without criticisms whether constructive or destructive. He leans on the assertion that, 'it is only people with feeble minds that pay attention to those who call them unsavory names '

There is no man without flaw(s), so AY BULUMA is not without some flaws. Those I know will be mentioned.

First, we are in a society which believes so much in sweet-words to suit some friends, loved ones and 'Ogas at the top' in order to obtain their favors. But Buluma will not share in this vice. He would not hide the truth even to his fellow Executives. He condemns and appraises their bad and good attitudes respectively.

Ask any of the Executives who appraise them with words like 'ride on my man' when they do something noble, also ask them who will condemn even the closest exco(s) with words like 'you have not done well' when they do the unexpected. This is practically without necessarily being confrontational. Buluma has always challenged his fellow excos to bear in mind that one day they will become a foreigner in their office and therefore they should put in their best.

I must do the work of them that sent me for the time cometh when another Man shall work Buluma

Another flaw is his much belief in protocols. On many occasions, he has disappointed those who brought complaints or made a request by asking them to put it on paper before it can be considered (He often assist them to do this). Well, many find this attitude tasking and testing. Some would not even come back as they found that demanding. However many students have gained tremendously from this assignment.

Also, Buluma's non-appearance on the social media (Union facebook) might to some students be a flaw. Many expect him to appear more and address issues affecting the union and to present his own side of the story during disagreements. But to me, AY Buluma acts like a reasonable politician as the General Secretary. When asked why he doesn't come on facebook to exonerate himself of some general charges on the executives, he said, 'My brother, empty barrel makes the loudest noise, I do not believe in attack and reacting on facebook, let my works speak for me like the sacrifice of Cain and Abel. Coming out on facebook to advertise myself or announce my achievements is to me, immature and unprofessional'

I cannot know everything about the man, BULUMA, for I am not an omniscient. You know some other things about him (you may kindly put your comments through). But I can conclude by saying, Akinbuluma Ayokanmi Kehinde (AY BULUMA) is an enigma. A man the Yoruba will call 'AKANDA, meaning 'special being'. I can only pray that God give UI and indeed Nigeria a replica leader like BULUMA. I have always said if all executives were like Buluma, we would have a better UNION. I will not be surprise to see Buluma hold a political position in few years to come.

AY BULUMA associate himself with nearly all halls of residence on campus. When asked which hall he belongs, he said: ' I am a man with multiple identity: a Belllite by confirmation, An Awoite by Baptism, Zikite by inheritance, Katangite by Adoption, a kutite by extention, Tedderite by Campus Politics, Mellanbite by connection, an idiate by Relationship, Queenite by Friendship. All these are not without explicable reasons.

To you, Mr Buluma (if you will read this), remember and as you've always said, 'the true test of a man's character is his ability to get more focused each time he falls'. I encourage you to keep focused, keep hope alive and never be derailed by criticisms of the moment (whether constructive or destructive) as they are bound to come. I still believe in your ability to deliver.

As you celebrate another birthday tomorrow, take time to reflect on your manifestoes, mirror on the BULUMIC AGENDA and rise up to the task of re-uniting your team and reactivating the hope of UITES in your tenure. It is obvious that you have tried your best (this may not be showing due to some circumstances beyond your control) but I believe there is that part of your skills that need to be put to use. Re-ignite the Hope of Uites. We want to see the manifestation of the Bulumic agenda. It is better late than never.

Fellow Uites, I encourage us all to celebrate with AY BULUMA as he celebrate his birthday tomorrow. A simple text message to him(08030406665) will do well. Let us not because of the laxity of some people generalize on all.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO,
The Twins, Taiwo and Kehinde Akinbuluma (Feb,2014)

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