Greg from the Suse forums, and a couple dudes from the freenode #suse channel recommended removing systemd in place of sysvinit. I was given the following link:
openSUSE:Managing Systemd - openSUSE
Unfortnately, removing systemd did not seem like a sound option.. zypper prompted me to remove 386MB worth of dependencies.. They were mostly install patterns, one of which I already had to remove. However, there were a couple packages I did not want to get rid of, i.e. acpid, samba, a couple more I can't think of off the top of my head.
So, I just settled with adding 'init=/sbin/sysvinit' to my grub kernel cmd-line parameter.
nss_ldap is now able to bind to my ldap server without issues
Now, if I can only get getent passwd to work... (another matter for another forum).