Sanction against Principal: Politicians and their intolerable intolerance

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Sanction against principal:Politicians and their intolerable intolerance
Ben GEORGE
I was amused last week by the news of the drama of the reposting of a principal of a public secondary school in Ogbomoso to a remote school as “punishment” or “reprisal” for her ‘lack of discretion” in allowing a philanthropist to “invest” in the school she is administrator.
When l first read the news, in Ogbomoso Insight, l was flabbergasted, wondering when does seeking and receiving help become a “sin” moreover when government that runs the schools has been charging principals to interface with stakeholders in their communities on ways aids in cash or kind could flow in towards amplifying infrastructural developments. Old students, philanthropists, community leaders among others constitute the catchment area to seek outside interventions according to the Oyo state government. It is a directive that gained emphasis during the tenure of (now late) governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi. This came out of the belief that government alone cannot fund education. This is a policy embraced by the present administration too according to my findings. School Governing Boards (SGBs) composed of eminent personalities and irrespective of political leanings are appointed for schools to help in activating this policy thrust. Many schools have gained tremendously in this wise especially those that have vibrant alumni associations with successful, responsible old students to boot.
In this direction meanwhile, some schools are clearly disadvantaged because of their relative young age which implies that their alumni are still finding their feet. Such schools could only hope to approach wealthy individuals.

Oyo state helmsman

So, when does it become a sin to hanker after those that could render assistance to a school whose primary purpose is the students?
In my own estimation, Mrs. Janet Ogunmola, principal of Laogun Adeoye Memorial Grammar School, Ogbomoso, has not done anything tantamount to crossing a redline. Someone took her to a philanthropist who happens to be a politician to add value to her school, she struck gold, the politician acquiesced and was ready to execute the project at his own cost, this time a school hall, but this is now caused to be aborted on the retrogressive altar of politics. It is despicable.
A school hall is very germane in an academic setting, particularly it’s a requirement for writing of external exams – WAEC and NECO. Schools have lost their statuses due to lack of a hall.
Laogun Adeoye Memorial Grammar School is a school founded in the early 1980s by the administration of Chief Bola Ige as Akata Community Grammar School, it was during the regime of Alhaji Lam Adesina that it was renamed ”Laogun Adeoye” in honour of ace physician, politician and author, Dr. Laogun Adeoye, who died at the time. Since its founding in 1980, isn’t it sad that it has gotten no standard exam hall, which is an indictment on both past administrations in the state and principals of the school.
A new principal now strove to break the jinx but it suddenly

became a “sin,” something is certainly wrong with us. Someone that should be celebrated is now being hunted and persecuted. Her desire to dare to be different is now being made to haunt her.
Is the hall project her personal gain, will she carry it away when she eventually leaves the school? It will forever be to the benefits of the school and by extension students who will have a convenient exam hall and a conducive place for activities like literary and debate programmes, lectures and even as a source of revenue for the school. But the momentum had been halted. What message are they passing to other innovative and creative administrators?
If Mr. Ayodeji Adegoke a.k.a. Maigida has been allowed to execute the project that is minus one of projects to be undertaken by the state government. And in the future it wouldn’t have mattered much again who built the hall. Is he exploiting it for political gains? It’s bullshit!
Therefore, the only way those who masterminded the unconscionable transfer of the woman principal to a border school, seen as demotion, can be justified, is to forthwith begin the execution of the project so that within a short time Laogun Adeoye will have an imposing hall, greater in capacity, aesthetic and allure than what Maigida’s son had as plan. That way we would conclude government had a better plan for the school and that’s why it repudiated Mrs. Ogunmola and spurned Maigida. But to leave the school without a hall in the face of recent events is height of indiscretion and a mindless misuse of power. Because students of the school are the losers and will be poorer for it.
I believe the governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, is not in the know of something like this, it must have been the handiwork of overzealous officers who acted in the best spirit of Machiavelli principle – the end justifies the means. Their primary focus at this time is of course the next election, they have become hypersensitive, suddenly struck with a sense of insecurity that an opponent – for Ayodeji Adegoke is a contestant in the forthcoming general election – is about to steal the show. It is understandable and it is also understood that the same intolerant approach was adopted during the times of past administrations when teacher politicians belonging to opposition parties were flung deplorably to schools even outside their zone. All politicians are all guilty of such levels of intolerance as if that has anything to do with winning elections. I learnt it was the scenario during the late Akala regime, did it translate to him winning elections in 2011 or in subsequent years? It was witnessed during Ajimobi regime likewise but did it also result in electoral victory for APC in 2019? This is particularly an ailment assailing Ogbomoso politicians most – highly intolerant, often beclouded by the thought of the present and annoyance associated with it, failing to see beyond the present, by which they cause great harms to the community.
There are some things that are better ignored, for greater benefits to accrue. Our politicians should look at the bigger picture, get enraptured with vision of progress and get borne by a drive to bequeath lasting, laudable legacy and not lasting hatred and pettiness.
In the final analysis Mrs. Ogunmola should be reinstated or transferred to a bigger stage and government commit resources to providing a hall for Laogun Adeoye Memorial School. That is the only it can be vindicated.
Enough of striking unjustifiable fears into weak, lily-livered elements thereby encapsulating them in suspended terror.

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