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Eyeless But Visionary: Celebrating An Enigma In Lawal Ibrahim Temitope

December 21, 2015

I am not in the required psychological field to undertake this filial responsibility.  It is filial, having travailed and traversed the same Ivory Tower, same Faculty, the same course of study, the same hostel and under the same roof with the enigma, I am writing about in question for good four years.


Conspicuously, It would be unpardonable to let the  accompanied the dehumanizing trauma of the #Dasukigate to prevent me from doing the needful.

Among the Yoruba in South West Nigeria, it is often said that "oju l'oba ara" which roughly translates to mean that 'the eyes play the kingly roles in bodily affairs.' This adage presupposes that without eyes, one is doomed or destined for doomsday. Thus, eyes rightly so, are guarded jealously.

It is against this background that I consider it prudent and imperatively befitting to salute the courage, candour,  resilience, doggedness, self fulfilling prophesy, perseverance, and above all, the never- say- die attitude of the eponymous enigma a buddy of mine who is afflicted with blindness.

When I first met him, friendship was the least of my preoccupation, at best, we could only be nodding acquaintances. But he proved me wrong. I now agree wit scientists who have repeatedly revealed that once of the main body organs is defective, others will be more active. 

But Ibro's own has some modicum of mystery. If you think, I am being hyperbolic, reach out to him and controvert my assertion.

He has an inchoate knowledge of all the topics of human endeavours. Be it Sport,  Politics, Geography, Sociology, and Entertainment. He can wax all the King Saidi Osupa's songs with mercurial accuracy and acapella style.  In sport, I once teased him to consult for Sports Aficionado, especially, the Naira Bet subscribers. He has a Catholic taste that is ingeniously unparalleled.

When I noticed the telltale signs of non-inclusiveness in our Faculty politics, which was the bane of people living with disability in Nigeria, I prodded him to test the waters. I was dazed and dazzled by his response. He went into the race, eyed a seat at the Students' Senate, and subsequently, won the election to represent his class.

It was widely, expectedly, but erroneously rumoured that he won the keenly contested election based on the collective sympathies due to his disability. I almost subscribed to the erroneous sentiment. Again, he later proved me and others wrong. Dissatisfied with the low contents, and lack of finesse at the supposed hallowed chambers, he shared his dream with me to travel abroad to participate in the simulation of the United Nation General Assembly Model United Conference,  with the intent to broaden his intellectual horizon and imbibe some parliamentary skills. As usual, I had some misgivings, principally, because of financial costs. On a second thought, I nodded in assent, after all, adventure is an integral part of education.  

Lo and behold, not only did he travel to Germany for the conference successfully, he has since visited and participated in other high-powered international conferences.  He is ever ready to go the extra mile to break new grounds, and nothing is like gold dust for him. Those that were looking at him from afar did not know that he has gone far. In spite of his ambitious adventures, his grades never flailed, not even in the most dreaded 'Company Law.'

His journalistic instinct and prowess were brought to bear when he authored a book titled "My Viewpoint". At the launch of the said book were eminent Nigerians, including Barrister Taiwo Taiwo as he then was, Engr Yinka Odumakinde of Impact Your World, Mr Elijah of the English Department UNILAG, etc. This feat sent shockwaves across boards that Ibro, though, he is somehow limited by his eyelessness, but his vision is intact. 

Very intact.

History was made on the 16th of December, 2015 at the call to bar ceremony in Abuja when the Special Award, donated by the bluestocking no-nonsense Life Bencher, Hairat Balogun SAN was meritoriously given to him.

Unarguably, he went to Law School as a star and came out as a superstar.  It is important to add that he was not the only blind student that was called to the bar this year.

From my intimate  fraternity with him, he appears indebted to Bar Wale Oreshade and Dr Abiola Sanni. The duo were in loco parentis. Ibro, as you navigate in the vagaries of human existence, It is my earnest prayer that you will not seize to be an epitome of inspiration.